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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Surveys and Policing in Duluth

We recently received, and thoroughly reviewed, the results from the annual Citizen Survey. The City of Duluth website (www.duluthmn.gov/mayor/surveys) summarizes, "Residents give Duluth high marks and show satisfaction in the general direction the city is heading. Survey results demonstrate improvements in several areas, including 83 percent of residents polled approving of the city's overall quality of life. That is the highest result in that category since polling began in 2009, when overall quality of life polled only 68 percent. The overall image of the city is also at its highest results now at 78 percent, up from 58 percent in 2009. Eighty-five percent of residents say Duluth is a great place to live, up from 78 percent in 2009."
 
From my perspective, I noted 93 percent of the survey respondents rated contact with the police as excellent, good or fair in 2014. The number of people feeling safe in their home rose from 89 percent last year to 92 percent this year. One area of focus is our effort downtown. Those who felt safe downtown rose this year to 73 percent, compared to 64 percent last year. Drunkenness, panhandling and disorder are what primarily drive the perception downtown. Overall 95 percent of those surveyed feel safe in Duluth.

The police department uses the survey results as part of our performance measures, operational benchmarks and strategic planning. Our 2014 and 2015 priorities focus on community policing, which includes expanding block clubs, neighborhood watches and citizen patrols. Additionally our outreach to neighborhoods focusing on crime prevention and collaboration to solve problems together continues to be a priority. Our Comm-U-nity CompStat (computer statistics) meetings that began in Lincoln Park last year recently were expanded to include the Central Hillside. Meeting and building relationships with residents is what we want.

We also continue to focus on building relationships with our youth. The Duluth Police Activities League (D-PAL) began earlier this year and focuses on sports and other activities that provide a positive venue for kids and officers to spend time together. So far D-PAL activities have been a great success and we look forward to seeing it grow.

We hosted two Cops, Kids and Cars events this summer that were huge hits. This is another example where our staff and community members can meet to discuss neighborhood issues, current events or the latest with the Twins or Vikings.

One of our other major areas of focus has been crime prevention, because that is the most important aspect of policing. The most common crime in Duluth is property theft. Whether a car burglary or a theft from a garage, we know many of these crimes can be prevented. Keep your items locked up and out of view and, most importantly, call 911 if you witness suspicious behavior.

With your help, we can keep Duluth a great place to live and make it even safer. If you have any interest in being a part of a Block Club, Neighborhood Watch, Citizen Patrol or having an officer attend a neighborhood meeting at your home, please give my office a call and we will set it up.

**News Tribune Photo-Clint Austin**

1 comment:

  1. Until and unless I am allowed to meet personally with you as I requested of your office previously I will not iron out the disrespect and misunderstandings of officers yelling at me and calling me hostile when supposedly responding for you, instead of you! I don't believe these actions were right or just and I know that the actions taken to threaten to cite me for calling the police were not justice! Most people would never have helped you again but I am not most people... Please take the time and make an effort to partner with me rather than put me down or call me harassing! Tusken could have taken a page to thank me but he rather wrote a whole page on how much my communication sickens him and his officers, after yelling at me on the phone... It was unprofessional and degrading and probably because I am just a woman and one who has a mental illness that he has reacted in such a way, as I can't see him treating any male citizen this way, given similar circumstances!
    Please value me as I so deserve and truly partner with me rather than finding teammates of yours who wish to side against me and hurt me!
    Thanks for your previous attention on your time off on a Saturday and please talk to me again and don't ignore me! Your team helped me and I helped them too and the partnerships that I have with good and faithful officers are strong ones that help society! Please don't let me down sir!

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