City of Poughkeepsie Release Results of Community Survey on Policing
The City of Poughkeepsie has received the results of surveys sent to randomly selected households to gauge the public’s feelings about community-police interactions. The surveys included dozens of questions, ranging from people’s perception and fear of crime to their satisfaction and encounters with police.
For instance, when asked to rate the safety of their neighborhood, 65 percent responded their neighborhood is safe or very safe, compared to 11 percent saying their neighborhood is very dangerous or dangerous.
The surveys were sent out in English and Spanish and could be filled out anonymously. They were initially mailed to 3,000 residents across the eight wards within the City of Poughkeepsie. Reminder postcards were sent out two weeks after the initial mailing, and an additional 800 surveys were sent out to the four least responsive wards. There were a total of 389 surveys returned, a 10.24 percent response rate.
“We appreciate those who took the time to fill out the survey,” said Mayor Rob Rolison. “But our work is far from done. Our outreach efforts will occur on a continuing basis. Our officers are out on the streets every day interacting with people in positive ways.”
The Marist College Center for Social Justice Research aided with the survey and tabulated the results.
“The Marist Center for Social Justice Research (MCSJR) facilitates interdisciplinary research teams of faculty, students, and community partners to conduct engaged social science research with direct impact on the mid-Hudson Valley region,” said Dr. Carol Rinke, Associate Professor of Education and Coordinator of the Marist Center for Social Justice Research (MCSJR).
“For this project, MCSJR partnered with the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department to collect, analyze, and report on data from the 2018 community survey.”
The survey is just one of many initiatives the police department has undertaken to strengthen community relations. Earlier this year, police placed a school resource officer in the City of Poughkeepsie School District, improved the complaint form process and restored the community policing unit. The department is working on other strategies, including equipping the officers with body cameras and completing implicit bias training.
“The survey is helpful,” said Police Chief Tom Pape. “It gives us insights about what the community is thinking. That will aid us out in the streets, and as we continue with our internal training and public outreach efforts.”
The results of this survey come on the heels of a report from the state Division of Criminal Justice Services showing a decrease in crime in the city. Specifically, violent crimes have dropped from 417 in 2009 to 216 in 2018, a 48.2 percent decrease. And robberies, burglaries and property crimes also have fallen by 50 percent or more during the same timeframe.
You can read the results of the survey here: http://cityofpoughkeepsie.com/wp-content/files/police/ProceduralJustice_survey_results.pdf