A few weeks ago, I asked all of you to fill out a short survey about who you are and what you would like to get out of BlueSheepdog. I was overwhelmed with the responses I got, and based on the feedback I received, I will try to better tailor the content to your needs.
I wanted to share a little of the information with you here, so that all of you have a better understanding of who makes up our community.
As you can see in the above chart, local law enforcement makes up the largest portion of our community. This makes sense, as local officers and deputies make up the bulk of law enforcement in the United States. I knew we had a significant number of retired LEOs on board, and according to the survey it looks like about 1 in 12 of us made it through this career.
A nice addition to the mix is the nearly 21% of people who are non-LEO citizens. I’ve long held that the relationship between law enforcement and the citizens should be strengthened, and that the more citizens understand of police work, the more likely they are to support our efforts. A well-educated public is less likely to believe a bravo-sierra news report about an officer-involved shooting, and more likely to hold politicians accountable when they move to slash training budgets.
This chart shows the size of the departments the LEOs in the BlueSheepdog community work.
This chart shows what kinds of training and articles people are looking for on BlueSheepdog. The solid meat-eater topics of officer safety, firearms, defensive tactics and equipment reviews are all preferred by the majority of readers. However, there is clearly interest in a broad range of topics.
In the “other” category were suggested topics including labor issues, crime prevention, PTSD, youth interaction, gang prevention, homeless outreach, elder abuse, interaction with legally armed citizens, haz-mat, mental health issues, police academy training and historical information.
Expect more articles and videos on the most popular topics, but a continuation of broad coverage.
Among the responses for “If there was one thing you could change about BlueSheepdog.com…”
- Make an android app!
- Make the emails easier to read on a smartphone.
- Expand it!!
- I enjoyed listening to the podcasts and would like to see some more again.
- Make it iPhone/iPad friendly.
- Need more podcasts.
- More videoclips.
- Shine a light on bad policies and make them news.
- Candian legal content.
- More humor.
And my favorite:
- I would make it dispense cold beer through my computer screen.
There were a number of other thoughtful comments to which I am giving a great deal of consideration. If your comment wasn’t list above, trust me I got it and I am considering it.
Based on these comments, I am looking at buying into a more responsive site theme that can automatically adjust how information is displayed if you are visiting via smartphone or tablet.
Also, plan on seeing a return of the podcasts. I am setting up a new feed, as the old one I was never terribly happy with. Once I figure out how to make things run as I want, you’ll see (or is that hear?) new podcasts coming out.
Oh, if I could make the beer thing work, I’d be a rich man.
On the question of “The best thing about BlueSheepdog.com is…”
- It gives us another tool with the cutbacks to training.
- Information given is credible and applicable.
- I love the email updates and would like to see these more frequently.
- Straight forward reporting on a variety of topics with very useful information.
- Everything seems straight from the heart, down to earth and honest, no politically correct baloney.
- Real people, on the job, writing honesty!!
- Real issues, on the beat/job observations, insight into situational awareness, equipment reviews.
- Comprehensive well written articles.
- The emails are not overwelming, but consistent.
- Good articles and training tips. Discounts and training opportunities are good too.
- It provides an honest view, without any slant or beauracratic nonsense.
- You are not driven by any particular institutional agenda.
- Blue Sheepdog tends to put out the relevant information for officers with boots on the ground.
As with the prior question, these are only a small portion of the responses. Rest assured I have read them all, and I am deeply humbled by the responses. The compliments are greatly appreciated, and all of the suggestions are extremely valuable.
Going forward, I will be implementing many of the suggestions that you have made. If you missed the survey or have since thought of something else, please put your thoughts below in the comments.