Public safety officials in Minneapolis announced a new digital tool Wednesday they say will help collect residents' feedback and provide a more holistic picture of community perception of the city's Police Department.

Minneapolis started publishing targeted advertisements on social media for its "community perception survey" at the beginning of the month, designed to solicit voluntary, anonymous input on law enforcement and public safety. The city will publish the findings on its website and use the data to assess what is and isn't working in its effort to reshape the department's image and rebuild trust.

Minneapolis will pay $500,000 over the next three years to Tel Aviv-based Zencity Technologies to implement the data-collection tool, according to a contract passed by the Minneapolis City Council in October.

"This has been a long time coming," said Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara in a news conference. O'Hara said he's been working for the past year to bring such a tool to the city as part of the effort to move into a new era. "Rebuilding trust requires us to listen to our residents — to hear what they have to say about what crime and public safety and policing looks like in their neighborhoods."

Noting the department is understaffed, O'Hara said police are busy rushing to and from emergencies, and they don't have as much time to hold meaningful conversations and build relationships with the people they serve. He said the survey won't replace human interactions, but it will help "fill in that gap."

The survey tool will measure perception on areas including safety of neighborhoods, the fairness of the justice process and whether the Police Department "meets the needs" of residents, said Michael Simon, chief strategy officer for Zencity.

Simon said the survey will be available in seven languages and his company hopes to get a representative sample of about 10,000 respondents per year, with a diversity of demographic voices. "We want to see Minneapolis residents participate, and the more people who do, the higher quality the input is that this agency will get."

The advertisement will appear on websites such as Facebook, Instagram and local news pages, he said.

Sample questions provided by the city include: "When it comes to the threat of crime, how safe do you feel in your neighborhood?" "Is Minneapolis PD an open and transparent organization?" And: "What is the number one issue or problem on your block or in your neighborhood that you would like the police to deal with? Please be specific."

Zencity also works with hundreds of other cities in the United States, including Chicago, Phoenix, Seattle and San Diego, according to a news release from the Police Department.

Endorsing the new platform alongside O'Hara, Minneapolis' new commissioner of Community Safety, Toddrick Barnette, said the Zencity tool will help promote the voices of everyday citizens in shaping policing.

"I'm fully supportive of anything that we can do to increase engagement and provide an opportunity for our residents to provide input on what they expect from their government," he said. "The responses will help us learn and understand priorities so we as leaders can make informed decisions that are transparent."