Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Fairfield police rate high in survey

Citizens prefer more patrolling

By John Kiesewetter
Enquirer staff writer

FAIRFIELD - Although residents are pleased with police service here, they'd like to see more officers patrolling their neighborhoods.

A community satisfaction survey conducted by Miami University Middletown students gave police in this Butler County city high marks for quick response, thorough knowledge of the job, patience and politeness.

"The Fairfield Police Department has done better than other police departments I have worked with," said Susan Baim, the business technology professor whose students conducted the survey.

She has done similar studies for Middletown, Trenton and Oxford.

Baim told council Monday that 339 of 2,000 randomly selected residents completed the 39-question, 10-page questionnaire.

Many said they considered the police a "key asset of the city," said Vicki Terrell, a Miami junior who helped compile and analyze the data.

Council members said they were pleased to see that less than 5 percent of the respondents said police used offensive language or excessive force.

"I don't think you'd see that in Cincinnati. That's a real credit to the force," said Mike Snyder, chairman of council's Public Safety Committee.

But citizens also said they wanted to see more police on the streets - and to have them stop and chat when they're in the neighborhood, Baim said.

Some residents also noted that it "can be difficult" to communicate with police on a nonemergency basis, she said.

Chief Michael Dickey said sergeants will suggest ways to implement recommendations at a Wednesday staff meeting.

"We have worked hard to establish a good reputation, and we're going to work to improve upon it," Dickey said.


E-mail jkiesewetter@enqurer.com

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