CSU, Chico News

Criminal Justice Students Assist with Survey That Shows Police Approval

Date: 02-21-2012

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

A survey finding a majority of Chico residents satisfied with their neighborhood’s safety was conducted by criminal justice students at California State University, Chico in collaboration with the Chico Police Department.

From October 2011 to January 2012, the Chico Police Department offered residents an opportunity to complete a survey on neighborhood safety and the overall performance of the Chico Police Department. The survey, available in three languages, was accessible online or in paper form at numerous city departments.

Survey results were released at a monthly meeting of the Chico Police Community Advisory Board Feb. 15. The findings revealed more than 90 percent of Chico residents surveyed found their neighborhood “very safe” or “safe” during the day, and 70 percent believed their neighborhood “very safe” or “safe” after dark.

Almost 90 percent of Chico residents surveyed found downtown Chico “very safe” or “safe” during the day, although only 33 percent thought downtown Chico was “very safe” or “safe” after dark.

More than 63 percent of Chico residents rated the police performance as “excellent” or “good.”

Results for the entire survey can be found on the Chico Police Department website http://www.chico.ca.us/Police/Home_Page.asp. For more information about how the survey will be used, contact Chico Police Chief Mike Maloney at 897-4950.

CSU, Chico criminal justice majors who were interning at the Chico Police Department helped create the survey, said Ryan Patten, assistant professor of criminal justice, who also serves as the chair of the Chico Police Community Advisory Board. He said students crafted survey questions, created the online format for the survey and helped locate translators.

“Doing the survey allowed students the opportunity to discuss their public safety needs with Chico Police,” said Patten. “The information gathered will be used in several criminal justice courses, and we have plans to have the Chico Police chief talk to our students about the importance of community satisfaction,” he said.

Patten said faculty see part of their role as helping students be informed about criminal justice-related issues in the greater Chico community. Jonathan Caudill, also an assistant professor of criminal justice, said, “We want to express our gratitude to the University, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Department of Political Science for providing an environment that facilitates community collaboration. The bigger picture, though, is that citizens are generally happy with the current police services.”