Results of a telephone survey with 1,452 Milwaukee residents regarding their perceptions of the Milwaukee Police Department were presented by Joe Cera, manager of the Survey Center at the Center for Urban Initiatives and Research, to the Fire and Police Commission January 22. The margin of error for unweighted data is +/- 2.6% at the 95% confidence interval. Major findings include:
- 24.6% of Milwaukee residents are “very satisfied” overall with the Milwaukee Police Department. 49.1% are “somewhat satisfied,” 16.7% are “not very satisfied,” and 9.1% are “not at all satisfied.”
- Variation in levels of overall satisfaction with Milwaukee police across Milwaukee residents is driven mainly by the frequency and nature of police contacts, perceptions of police visibility, exposure to crime, resident age, and resident race.
- Differences in opinion across racial groups regarding the Milwaukee police are widest among those who have not recently initiated any contact with police. Among those who have requested police services within the past year, opinion is relatively uniform and varies primarily based on the perceived quality of those services.
- 92% of residents desire a high level of police visibility where they live.
61.3% of residents feel “very safe” in their neighborhoods during the day, but this figure drops to 35.4% at night. Just 7.9% feel the city of Milwaukee as a whole is “very safe,” despite relatively uniform positive assessments of neighborhood safety across different parts of the city.
- 37.4% of residents report having sought help from the Milwaukee Police Department over the past 12 months. 63.1% of these residents were satisfied with police performance during their most recent contact.
- 24.4% of residents report having had officer-initiated contacts with Milwaukee police over the past year; 71% of these residents were satisfied with the way they were treated.
- 20% of Milwaukee residents say they were victims of at least one crime in the past year; 7.9% were victimized multiple times.