NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A survey among residents in New Orleans shows that people are far less satisfied with the NOPD than they were a year ago. The New Orleans Crime Coalition (NOCC) released the results of it's bi-annual survey, and says while the drop in satisfaction is cause for concern, no one should panic.
The survey, which measures public perception of police performance, shows that overall satisfaction of police protection in New Orleans dropped from 60-percent in March of 2014 to 48-percent today. That feeling was shared by both white and black citizens. Despite that drop, most people surveyed said they felt safe in their own neighborhood.
Loyola University's Dr. Michael Cowan, chairman of the Crime Coalition, commented, "From our first survey in 2009 to our tenth this month, the coalition has been focused on the trends revealed in survey results, not the outcomes of any particular survey. The drop in citizen satisfaction with NOPD in the current survey is cause for concern, but not panic. In our judgment, these results reflect recent rising rates of violent crime coupled with the widespread awareness that the number of New Orleans police officers available to patrol our streets has dropped to a dangerously low level."
He added, "We will continue to track and report on the state of the relationship between citizens and the police department, as that relationship is a key indicator of the community's well being."
The survey found that from March 2014 to March 2015:
• Overall citizen satisfaction dropped from 60% to 48%
• Black satisfaction dropped from 61% to 48%
• White satisfaction dropped from to 64% to 45%
• Citizen satisfaction pertaining to dealing with violent crime dropped from 56% to 49%
• Citizen satisfaction pertaining to dealing with property crime dropped from 60% to 53%
• 77% of respondents feel safe in their own neighborhood
• 41% of respondents feel safe outside their neighborhoods
It is important to note that high performing police departments in other cities typically score no lower than 70% on ratings of citizen satisfaction like those reported above.
The sample for this survey was weighted based on gender, age, ethnicity, and geography. First conducted in 2009, the measurements are now done every six months. The full survey may be found at http://www.crimecoalitionnola.com/news.
The survey was conducted by telephone from February 2-5, 2015. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 4 percent at a 95% confidence interval. That is, if this survey were repeated 100 times, the same results would occur 95 times, thus demonstrating that this is a valid and reliable survey of New Orleanians' perceptions of their police department and the best data currently available on that subject.