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Survey: Satisfaction with New Orleans PD ticks up from historic low

The survey comes as the NOPD appears poised to begin a process to leave behind federal court oversight after more than a dozen years

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The results are up from last year’s low of 31%, though it still lags ratings the NOPD regularly achieved over the decade ending in 2021.

Photo/New Orleans Police Department

By Missy Wilkinson
The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans residents are warming up to their police force, after support cratered to an all-time low last year at the tail end of an historic surge in violent crime, according to the latest annual survey results.

The annual policing report card from the New Orleans Crime Coalition found public satisfaction with the NOPD ticking back up, though not as swiftly as crime is falling.

The survey, conducted by Faucheux Strategies over a week ending June 4, found 40% of New Orleans residents are “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with the NOPD.

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That’s up from last year’s low of 31%, though it still lags ratings the NOPD regularly achieved over the decade ending in 2021. Satisfaction levels plummeted in 2022, and last year reached the lowest level since the survey began in 2009.

Pollster Ron Faucheux said the results show that satisfaction with NOPD “hit bottom” last year.

“Crime was up, fear had taken hold and satisfaction with the NOPD fell to its lowest point,” he said. “But this new survey shows improvement in most areas, some of it is considerable improvement.”

Black residents, men, and people over 45 were the most likely to report being satisfied with NOPD, according to the latest results.

The survey comes as the NOPD appears poised to begin a process to leave behind federal court oversight after more than a dozen years, under a consent decree aimed at widespread reforms to the police force.

Pollsters surveyed 800 adults on perennial and hot-button issues surrounding policing in New Orleans, including perceptions of safety and police brutality. As in past years, most of those surveyed believe New Orleans is crime-riddled, but less so in their own neighborhoods.

Across demographic groups, 84% of respondents described their neighborhoods as “fairly” or “very” safe — though only 43% described the city that way. That marked improvement from last year, when only 29% described New Orleans as safe.

Residents appeared more impressed the closer they got to an officer. A little more than one in three residents said they’d interacted with an NOPD officer over the past year, the survey found. In that group, 78% walked away “very” or “somewhat” satisfied.

Faucheux said there’s still work to be done, and that public perception surveys are often lagging indicators. Crime overall is down 27% compared to this time last year, according to NOPD figures.

“It takes time for city residents to assess changes in the crime rate and to relate that to the job the police department is doing,” Faucheux said.

The independent research firm surveyed 800 New Orleans residents by phone. Their racial composition reflected U.S. Census data. The survey had a margin of error of 3.5%.

When it came to Gov. Jeff Landry’s push to bring a new Louisiana State Police troop to the city, about 6 in 10 residents said they considered it “a good idea.” Slightly more Black people than White people voiced support for Troop Nola.

The survey found less public support for a plan for the state attorney general, rather than the Orleans Parish district attorney, to prosecute those cases. Fewer than half of respondents supported that plan.

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