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Police department releases results of 2016 community survey

NORTH LIBERTY– The results of a North Liberty Police Department survey, which launched Aug. 22 and concluded Sept. 30, are now available.
The survey consisted of 14 questions, ranging from public perception of the police department to major areas of criminal concern. The survey was made public at a city council meeting, on the city’s social media sites, the city’s monthly newsletter in the North Johnson County, it was discussed at the department’s town hall meeting, and notification was made by officers and staff during citizen’s contacts. The link to the survey was posted in email correspondence during the time frame.
Out of the 102 completed surveys, 89 percent said the department’s performance was “Good” to “Excellent.” The majority of the participants had some sort of contact with the department in the preceding 12 months. Most of the contact came at community events. Calls for police services came in a close second. Overall 87 percent of the participants were “Satisfied” or “Very Satisfied” with the overall outcome of the contact.
As for crime concerns, 94 percent of participants thought there was “Low” to “Zero” crime in their neighborhood. When asked what crime was a major concern to the participants, drug use/sales was the number one response. For minor concerns, the number one category was home/vehicle burglaries. It should also be noted, during the survey time frame, there were multiple vehicle burglaries resulting in the arrest of two suspects.
The survey also asked participants to give suggestions for how the department can improve. The most common responses were for more traffic enforcement, better school patrols, citing owners more for animals at large, more social media presence and people would like to see officers just stop and talk to people or wave when driving by.
In order to get information out to the public quicker, the department started a Twitter account. The department also participated in the city’s Snapchat takeover. At the beginning of the year, the department created a new school patrol plan. With busing being cut in certain areas, officers wanted to make sure they were prepared for the increase in traffic from parents taking their kids to school without blocking traffic, so kids could get to school.
North Liberty overall is a safe place to live, work and play. According to the survey participants, overall the perception is there is little to no crime in their area, which is a little concerning. Because of people thinking so, crimes tend to happen to people who are caught off guard. A perfect example is car burglaries that happen to people who leave their doors unlocked. With the new Twitter account, the department hopes to reach out to people when the burglaries are happening.
Results from the survey may be downloaded at northlibertyiowa.org.