INDIANAPOLIS–The majority of people in Indianapolis feel safe, according to an online survey and a concurrent poll, conducted by the NYU School of Law, in partnership with the city. But, about half of the young people who answered don’t feel the police listen to their concerns.
The first data from the survey and poll was discussed in the first of a series of meetings on public safety, Thursday evening. Deputy Mayor for Community Engagement presided over the meeting.
LISTEN: The first portion of the meeting
“People don’t generally protest good policing,” said Hampton, when noting the protests in Indy in May and June. “Protests are usually a response to police brutality, excessive force.”
Anne Milgram, former attorney general for New Jersey, and now a law professor at NYU, shared a breakdown of the data from the survey and poll.
She believes that communities need to consider other ways of measuring how good a job public safety is doing, which is mostly, she says, measured by the quality and quantity of arrests and incarcerations.
“How does government hold themselves accountable, for making communities as safe as possible, as equitable as can be and basically for bringing justice and fairness to the whole system.”
Milgram said the surveys showed most people who answered believe they’re getting a fair shake from the police, with the exception being about half of people age 18 to 34.
“A majority of folks said that they feel they’re treated with respect by the police. But, we saw a big difference in age groups, with younger people feeling less comfortable.”
She said there’s also a divide along racial lines, with Blacks and Latinos responding that they feel less safe than whites, not just in relation to police, but as a whole.
“”Basically about 62 percent of the residents in Indianapolis said they feel safe. Nationally that number is about 72 percent,” said Milgram. She added that the people who responded feel homicide is the number one threat, followed by gun violence, homeless-related problems, drugs, burglaries and gang activity.
The city plans more meetings and a deeper dive into the data, to determine what leaders believe must be done to reform policing and public safety.
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