Attitudes Toward St. Pete Police are Measured in a Survey
By JON WILSON, Consulting Editor, TB Reporter
Survey comments indicated that residents want more visible police presence.
ST. PETERSBURG — Eighty-five percent of the residents who responded to the 2015-16 Neighborhood Police Survey said the city’s police department is doing a good or excellent job, while 90 percent rated as good or excellent officer competency.
A somewhat less positive finding had 74 percent of those responding rating as good or excellent the department’s ability to alleviate safety or security concerns, and one in every five respondents expressing a perceived increase in crime levels. But nearly half the respondents perceived no increase in crime levels.
Theft, drug dealing, motor vehicle theft and traffic violations frequently were rated as major problems, although drug dealing and traffic problems were sometimes rated as minor problems. The variance in perception could be because of such elements as neighborhood of the respondent, visibility of the issue or individual bias regarding those specific subjects, the report said.
The listed crimes that were most frequently rated as no problem include loud music disturbances, public drinking, graffiti and gang activity.
In the survey’s comments section, respondents suggested the need for increased presence of police and patrols, showed a desire for more “park, walk and talk” on the part of officers, worried about unsupervised children and said that homeless people are a problem.
Professional standards require such a survey be conducted at least once every three years in communities with accredited law enforcement agencies. St. Pete conducts one annually. St. Pete’s 2015-16 survey had 522 respondents. Parts of the survey are broken down by neighborhoods. The full survey can be found at http://bit.ly/1Wbjpvg.
St. Petersburg | Police | Annual Survey | TB Reporter
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