NEW ORLEANS— The NOPD’s latest report card is out. It’s a survey that measures public satisfaction with the department.
The survey was done by the New Orleans Crime Coalition, and while the national environment towards policing has tended to focus on bad policy and bad actors, the survey says that the majority of New Orleanians have a favorable view of the police department.
Gregory Rusovich of the New Orleans Crime Coalition said, “You have 57% that are satisfied with the job that NOPD is currently performing. And that’s up. It was about 51% in 2017 so there’s been an upward trend. The good news too is that blacks and whites have similar views.”
The survey was conducted by Faucheux Strategies and the racial composition was 59% black, 34% white, and 7% other.
And while most surveyed said that they felt safe in their own neighborhoods, the lowest marks against the NOPD were investigating and solving murders, car break-ins and property crimes.
“You really need the whole system to operate. You need judges to do their job on the repeat offenders. Secondly the police really do need resources. If you want to have community policing, real community policing, where the police can engage with the community, feel part of the community, we need more officers, according to Rusovich.
The department is still about 25% understaffed and today, the NOPD responded to the survey:
The overall positive responses in the New Orleans Crime Coalition Annual Satisfaction Survey of the New Orleans Police Department are encouraging.
The men and women of the NOPD remain committed to reducing violent crime, holding criminals responsible, and improving service to build a safer community.
The Department’s dedication to training is key to many improvements.
EPIC – Ethical Policing is Courageous, continues to prove to be a valuable tool in practicing Constitutional Policing. NOPD officers are trained to intervene with one another, with no fear of reprisal, to de-escalate tensions during police and citizen engagements.
In the last six months, during nationwide civil unrest protesting police misconduct, except for one incident, the NOPD has been an example of change demanded by citizens from across the country.
“The feedback in the NOCC Survey clearly illustrates our hard work in the community,” said Superintendent Shaun Ferguson. “We have strived, and have now become, a national leader in Constitutional Policing and police reform — people are feeling safer in their neighborhoods.”
However, the NOPD recognizes that there remains room for improvement.
“We continue to work vigilantly, 24/7, to fight violent crime, solve open cases, and bring more criminals to justice.”
The NOPD expects to increase its effectiveness in fighting violent crime through the recent formation of the Violent Crime Abatement Investigation Team or VCAIT. But Superintendent Ferguson reminds citizens that all of us are in this together, and it’s going to take a higher level of community involvement to be successful.
“It’s one thing to know about crime; it’s another thing to prove it — if you see something, say something.”
By and large the report is good news for the NOPD, however, there are clear differences with how black and white New Orleanians view police brutality.
Rusovich stated, “It’s hard to attribute that. It could be because in fact there is more, there are more brutality cases if you look across the board. There’s no reason to doubt that. That could be something that’s there in reality, could be something that’s there in perception and it’s part of the national story, and it could be a combination of those two.”