About 99 percent of Coeur d’Alene residents feel safe in their homes and while shopping in the city, according to a community survey of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department released Thursday.
The report, compiled by The Results Group, also shows that 84 percent of residents surveyed are satisfied with police services.
Mayor Sandi Bloem said Coeur d’Alene received a higher safety satisfaction rating by residents than any other city The Results Group has worked with in eight western states.
As for concerns, surveyed residents said that illegal drugs – almost always the top concern in any town – is the most important law enforcement problem in the city. About 39 percent of residents surveyed cited drugs as their top concern. Eleven percent said property crimes such as theft and burglary were most troubling, and another 11 percent named traffic enforcement as the top problem.
Bloem said increased awareness of problems such as methamphetamine use is good because it helps combat the problem.
Coeur d’Alene paid the Oregon-based consulting firm $32,900 to assess the police department to highlight the strengths and weaknesses.
City Administrator Wendy Gabriel said the first drafts of the report, which included a 350-resident telephone survey, 45 in-person interviews and a survey of police employees, helped the city form questions used to interview candidates to replace retiring Chief Wendy Carpenter.
The consultants presented the final report Thursday to the City Council. Newly hired Chief Wayne Longo, an Idaho State Police captain until he starts the city job in September, received the report Wednesday.
Longo wasn’t available for comment but wrote in a press release that the assessment gives him a “clear view” of resident and employee expectations. He will use the report to form an action plan and mission for the department.
Of the police employees surveyed, 66 percent said they were satisfied with current job-related conditions.
Bloem said there were no surprises in the report, but that it shows the importance of communicating clearly with taxpayers and employees.
She agrees that residents feel a high level of safety and that it’s not a false impression. Even though crime rates have gone up as part of the area’s population growth, the city has remained safe, the mayor said.
“The reason people feel that way is because they are safe,” she said.
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