Public Not Satisfied with VIPD, According to Safety Zone Survey

The Safety Zone conducted a survey in July, keeping participants names confidential, asking individuals to rate the performance of both the Safety Zone and V.I. Police Department.

In all 100 people responded to the survey which requested information regarding what changes should be made to prevent crime and make the community a safer environment.

Results of the survey showed that 63 percent of respondents felt positive about the Safety Zone’s outreach efforts and 62 percent approved of the agency’s approach to confidentiality.

“We have work to do, but I knew that going into the distribution of the survey,” said Shelley Williams, Safety Zone co-director. “We are in a rebuilding phase. This is why the results are so important — it  lets us know what service areas we need to improve.”

When questioned about the VIPD, 66 percent of respondents reported that police response times were inadequate. A total of 93 percent of those surveyed did not believe the VIPD was up to the task of solving crimes.

Confidentiality was also of concern with 78 percent of respondents believing that citizens who wish to report crimes anonymously could not count on  VIPD officers to keep their identities secret.

Eighty-eight percent of respondents want to see a better relationship between law enforcement and the community, 84 percent want to see more “crime watch” programs/strategies within the community and 82 percent believe a better relationship between the community and the VIPD would improve the number of leads and amount of information which residents are willing to share about crimes.

“All in all the survey outcomes will be a very positive tool in planning initiatives for future improvements for both agencies,” said Williams. “I have already shared our survey findings with those at the very top of the VIPD.”

St. John has a new VIPD administration headed by Deputy Chief Foy who is a very positive person and seems to be very open to change, Williams added.

“The Safety Zone is here to help assist in any way possible,” she said.

The next Town Hall meeting for Communities Mobilizing for Change in Law Enforcement is scheduled for sometime in October. A formal announcement will be made in the future. For additional information regarding the survey, call the Safety Zone at 693-7233.