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Durham residents have a positive perception of the Durham Police Department, according to the 2016 Durham Police Satisfaction Survey. The results were presented to the Durham City Council yesterday.
According to the survey, which was conducted by ETC Institute, 73 percent of the residents surveyed are satisfied with the attitude and behavior of police officers towards citizens in their neighborhood; only 9 percent are dissatisfied. In addition, 69 percent agree that the police department is trying hard to maintain good relations with the community; only 10 percent disagree.
“The Durham Police Department is continually looking for ways to better serve our residents, and this survey highlights priorities and factors that are important to our community,” said Police Chief C.J. Davis. “The data that was collected will weigh heavily in our decision-making processes going forward.”
Other findings indicated that most residents respect, trust and have confidence in Durham police officers and most residents support the use of body cameras by officers.
Residents indicated that the top community priorities for the police department in the next two years are efforts to prevent crime, visibility of officers in neighborhoods, how quickly officers respond to emergencies and treating residents of different races/ethnicities equally.
Residents were asked about their overall satisfaction with a variety of police services. The areas with the highest level of satisfaction included the appearance and quality of police vehicles and equipment, attitude and behavior of officers toward citizens in your neighborhood, professionalism of police officers and quality of dispatch (911) services. The areas with the lowest levels of satisfaction were visibility of police in neighborhoods, efforts to prevent crime and parking enforcement services.
The survey also revealed that 65 percent of residents strongly favor officers wearing body cameras and 29 percent “somewhat favor” the body cameras. Sixty two percent favor and 24 percent “somewhat favor” 24/7 video surveillance of public places.
Seventy percent of residents think it is important for the makeup of the Durham Police Department to reflect the community in terms of race and ethnicity. Twenty-three percent of residents indicated they think the Durham Police Department currently reflects the community and 22 percent indicated they do not think the Durham Police Department currently reflects the community. Fifty-five percent indicated they “don’t know.”
Residents were asked to indicate whether or not they think Durham Police Department officers stop people of certain racial or ethnic groups because they believe these groups are more likely than other groups to commit certain types of crimes. Forty-one percent of residents indicated “yes,” 26 percent indicated “no” and a third (33%) of residents indicated they were “not sure.”
Fifty-four percent believe Durham has remained the same in terms of safety during the past year and 13 percent believe it has become safer. Twenty-eight percent believe it has become less safe during that time.
The ETC Institute, which conducted the survey in June 2016, received 528 completed surveys. The survey has a 95 percent level of confidence with a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percent. The study may be viewed here - http://durhamnc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/14202