Survey says citizens less satisfied with NOPD, but still feel safer

Survey says citizens less satisfied with NOPD, but still feel safer

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - An organization of civic groups has released a survey that finds New Orleans residents are less satisfied overall with the New Orleans Police Department than they were a year ago.

The survey conducted for the New Orleans Crime Coalition found that overall satisfaction with the NOPD of those surveyed is down 13 percentage points to 51 percent.

That number is slightly below the average since March of 2013, according to the findings.

Key findings in the survey include:

  • Satisfaction remains similar among both white residents (53%) and black residents (51%), although satisfaction is down for both
  • Satisfaction with how the NOPD is handling violent crime (39%) decreased by 20 points since 2016, likely due to an increase in the murder rate at the time of survey
  • 63% of adults are satisfied with police performance in their own neighborhoods
  • 82% feel safe in their own neighborhoods, slightly higher than the average since March 2013
  • For the first time since August 2013, a majority (51%) feel safe visiting other areas of New Orleans outside their own neighborhoods
  • Satisfaction with interaction with the NOPD remains strong (71%), four points higher than the overall average, however interaction with police is down 12 points

Residents' satisfaction with their experiences with police has increased since last year. And for the first time, respondents feel safer exploring other neighborhoods outside their own.

In a statement released by NOPD, Superintendent Michael Harrison said the department welcomes the citizen feedback generated by the survey, calling it a "helpful diagnostic tool" to gauge how department efforts are viewed by the public and where there is room for improvement.

"We are greatly heartened to see 82 percent of residents reporting that they feel safe in their own neighborhoods, and 51 percent of residents reporting that they feel safe in other neighborhoods," Harrison said.

The department contends, however, that the time to survey was taken, September 5-7,  prior to the public results of summertime crime suppression efforts and immediately before the decline in homicides year over year was announced,  was not reflected in the survey and could have produced a different result.

"Perception is very different from reality, in some instances," Harrison said. "As the report notes, dissatisfaction tends to correlate with a rise in murders. In fact, the murder rate in particular and violent crime overall have been on the decrease. The current homicide rate stands at 6.25% below the same time last year. Murders are down, but that's not immediately reflected in public understanding."

Harrison said the department will continue to use NOCC surveys and other similar findings  to gauge public perception and improve performance.

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