NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— On Thursday, the New Orleans Crime Coalition released its annual New Orleans Police Department Citizen’s Satisfaction Survey, and as you might guess, the results are less than stellar. However, some in the community see opportunity in the study.

Perhaps the worst news of the Crime Coalition’s survey is that public satisfaction with the NOPD is at its lowest point since 2009, hitting 33%.

Dillard University political analyst, Dr. Robert Collins, says with the high violent crime rate, the results should have been expected.

“We knew that crime is the number one issue of the citizens of New Orleans right now,” Collins told WGNO’s LBJ. “We knew people were not satisfied with the police department, so there were really no surprises in this study.”

Greg Rusovich is a former chair of the coalition and says that dissatisfaction with the police department doesn’t tell the entire story.

“The results are not at all bad for the individual officers and for the NOPD itself,” Rusovich explained. “I think this is really what’s happening here and we see the results as we look at them. This is really a disgust on the part of the public for political inaction to support the police.”

So, how do New Orleanians feel about the NOPD and the job they’re doing outside of their neighborhoods?

“Seventy-five percent of the respondents find the city unsafe. That’s a significant increase from the last time we did the poll,” Rusovich explained.

Upon the release of the report, the NOPD issued a statement to WGNO, saying:

The results of this survey are a learning opportunity for NOPD. It shows our citizens are seeing what we see and we understand their concerns. The men & women of NOPD continue to remain engaged in combatting violent crime and bringing those who commit these acts to justice.  

The results come at a pivotal time as we shift our deployment strategies to have more officers on patrol with 12-hour shifts.  

The survey also showed that citizens believe we need the elected leadership to help by providing additional funding for recruiting and retaining more officers.  

The positive discussions during Thursday’s City Council hearings were an encouraging step in that direction. 

Courtesy of Gary Scheets

Collins says it’s time that city leadership listens to the citizens.

“The citizens support the rank and file of the police department,” said Collins. “This is a reaction against the power structure, against the political structure, against the leadership of the police department, and against the leadership of the city. That’s who people are upset about right now.”

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