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GR polling citizens on trust in police, public safety

Posted at 2:14 PM, Dec 17, 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids has released preliminary results to polling data on public safety and trust in the police department.

According to data collected from an online polling service, Grand Rapids residents generally trust the police and feel safe in their neighborhood. The survey uses a scale from 0-100, for which GRPD scored a current trust score of 68 and safety score of 69.

The city says those scores are in line with other departments that use the polling service like New York or Chicago.

"This is a tool to help us better understand our community’s needs and measure trust in our department – something we haven’t been able to do with reliable data in the past,” Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Payne said in a statement. “We can gauge how residents feel about the safety of their neighborhoods and the trust they have in our officers.

“We plan to use this data to get at the root causes of crime in our city and strengthen the community’s trust in us. This, I believe, will lead to stronger community-police relationships and bolster our efforts to ensure all residents feel safe and are safe at all times throughout the community.”

The data was collected from July 1 to Sept. 30 and asked residents how they thought the police department is performing.

People were asked if police treated citizens with respect, took their concerns seriously and asked about specific problems in their neighborhoods.

The city says most of the issues were quality of life concerns. Twenty-two percent of responses cited streets and traffic-related issues, and 11% cited concerns with thefts.

Results will be released quarterly and posted on the city’s website.