April survey shows high satisfaction with EPD
Just two months before Eureka’s popular police Chief Garr Nielsen was fired for no reason, a survey released by EPD showed a high approval rating by city residents. Such positive feedback was a distant dream in the year(s) before Nielsen took command in 2007.
Nielsen was fired “without cause” on June 24th and City Manager Dave Tyson is refusing to give any reason outside “differing management styles.” Speculation about the real reason for the firing is pointless since there is no check box to indicate the city manager’s power trips and jealously issues.
Below are the survey results. Whether EPD can retain such numbers in the future remains to be seen given the schoolyard politics that rule the City of Eureka. An identical survey a year from now would gauge whether a positive trajectory has been maintained.
PRESS RELEASE #2011-0420
Subject :Eureka Police Department Releases Results of Community SurveyContact :Sgt Steve Watson (707) 601-5464
On 2/15/11, the Eureka Police Department launched an on-line survey on crime and policing in the City of Eureka. The survey was intended for those who live, work, and/or play within the city limits of Eureka.
The survey was designed to provide the Eureka Police Department with a better understanding of the perceptions, wishes, and concerns of our community with the intent the results would be used to enhance our policing services and to help direct the department as we strive to provide the most responsive, professional and efficient police services possible.
On 4/15/11, the survey was closed after the department received 146 responses. 121 completed surveys were received along with 25 incomplete survey responses.
Hard copies of the survey results will be made available for the media at the EPD front counter upon request.
A few selected results of interest from the survey follow (results filtered to reflect only answers from the complete surveys):
- 66% of respondents stated they had contact with EPD in the past two years. 33% either reported they had no contact with EPD during this period or did not answer this question.
- Respondents were asked the question: “Whether or not you agreed with the outcome, did the officers/staff treat you with dignity and respect?” 81% of those who answered this question said “yes.” (54% agreed “yes,” 12% answered “no,” and 34% chose not to answer the question. The figure “81%” was obtained after removing the non-answers and recalculating the totals).
- When asked if they would characterize the service they received from EPD as being professional, competent and helpful, 74% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed this was true, 20% disagreed, and 6% stated they were neutral.
- 88% of respondents felt EPD’s response time during calls for service met or exceeded their reasonable expectations. 10% felt EPD’s response was either too slow, or reported officers never came/responded.
- Respondents were asked to rate their satisfaction with the overall level of service they personally received from EPD. 69% stated they were satisfied or very satisfied, 22% were dissatisfied/very dissatisfied, and 9% were neutral.
- When asked how well EPD does in providing services to the community overall, 70% of respondents rated EPD’s services as good or excellent, 19% rated EPD’s services as fair or neutral, and 12% felt they were poor.
- Respondents were asked their perception of the importance of the Department’s recently expanded Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP). While 12% of the survey takers stated they were unfamiliar with the POP program, 80% of the remaining respondents felt the program was important or very important, 4% felt it was unimportant or very unimportant, and 4% felt neutral about it. (90% of the respondents familiar with the program felt the POP Program was important or very important).
- Survey takers were asked how safe they considered themselves in the City of Eureka. 11% felt not safe, 54% felt somewhat safe, and 36% felt safe or very safe in Eureka.
- Survey takers were asked if they felt crime in Eureka has increased, decreased, or remained the same over the past 12 months. 41% responded they felt crime has increased, 5% felt crime has decreased, and 54% felt it has remained the same.
- “Have you limited, changed, or curtailed your activities in Eureka recently because you are concerned about crime?” 48% of respondents who answered this question said “yes” while 52% replied “no.” (Figures obtained after removing the non-answers and recalculating the totals. 17% of the survey takers did answer this question, while 40% answered “yes” and the remaining 43% answered “no”).
- “Do you feel that crime is such an issue in Eureka that you have considered moving?” 35% of those who answered this question said “yes” (they have considered moving) and 65% said “no.” (17% did not answer the question. Figures obtained after removing the non-answers and recalculating the totals).
- 54% of the survey takers listed their gender as male and 46% as female.
- 37% of the survey takers listed their ages as being between 20-39, 40% were 40-59 years old, and 22% were age 60 and over.
- 86% of the survey takers characterized illegal drug possession and use as being a significant or very significant problem within the City of Eureka.
- 92% of the survey takers characterized illegal drug sales as being a significant or very significant problem within the City of Eureka.
- 69% of the survey takers felt marijuana grow houses were a significant or very significant problem within the City of Eureka.
- 70% felt gangs were a significant or very significant problem in Eureka.
- 86% believed theft crimes to be a significant or very significant problem in Eureka.
- 79% considered transient related issues to be a significant or very significant problem in Eureka.
- 75% felt vandalism/graffiti was a significant or very significant problem in Eureka.
- 67% listed speeding/unsafe driving as significant/very significant problems in Eureka.
- 92% of respondents stated they were concerned or very concerned about drug houses/dealers in Eureka.
- 96% of the survey takers were concerned/very concerned about drug addicts & their related crimes.
- 84% were concerned/very concerned about children being exposed to drugs in Eureka.
- 75% were concerned/very concerned about marijuana grow houses.
- 86% were concerned or very concerned about having their vehicles burglarized/broken into, and 77% shared this concern about their homes.