While crime is often in the local news, we seem to like our local police protection. More than 60 percent of the respondents to our most recent 1Q survey said they thought police and local governments were doing enough to protect them from crime. But they also had plenty of ideas for improving the ways officers do their jobs.

“My neighborhood is pretty safe in my view, with a large amount of security and police patrols around the nearby shops,” said a 26-year-old Buckhead man who was among 200 adults who responded to the cellphone-based survey. “I personally think that police presence does a great deal to combat crime.”

A 45-year-old Brookhaven woman expressed similar sentiments. “I think Brookhaven police do a great job,” she commented in the survey of adults in communities served by Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta INtown.

But other respondents felt police themselves may create problems. “I think that police forces could do a better job distributing their patrols across the city, as well as reduce instances of racial profiling,” a 20-year-old Sandy Springs man wrote. “In addition, I think the rate of fatalities involved with police encounters is grossly out of control, and steps should be taken to address that issue by reducing the amount of deaths and shootings committed by officers.”

“I think if offenders have more than one or two offenses, they should have a harsher punishment. I know there is a lot of overcrowding in jails, but they shouldn’t be allowed back on the street. You also find a lot of juveniles doing the crime, so more serious consequences for them, too.”
–Kim Mitchell

Asked what strategies or technologies police should use to better combat crime, respondents offered plenty of suggestions.

Some proposed more community engagement with police. “I think there should be more proactive community outreach,” a 27-year-old Brookhaven woman said. “Build trust to build safety.”

“There should be more involvement between government, police and citizens [through] events where all can interact and build trust,” a 41-year-old Sandy Springs man wrote.

And a 26-year-old Buckhead man called for foot patrols and community engagement. “Be a presence that isn’t in a car,” he said.

Others looked for high-tech solutions and suggested everything from increasing surveillance cameras in public places, to adding more car-tag readers to putting more eyes in the sky.

I haven’t heard of any crime or know of anyone affected by it.
–Bryan Hieser

“Autonomous drones for chasing might be good,” a 32-year-old Atlanta man noted.

Not everyone agreed, of course.

“Please don’t spy on me,” a 26-year-old man said.

Here’s what some other residents who responded to the survey had to say:

“Find ways to talk to people in the community, outside of a policing activity’s context.”
— 32-year-old Brookhaven man

“We need more cops, better trained, [and] more community policing.”
— 43-year-old Atlanta woman

“More surveillance, more cameras.”
— 36-year-old Atlanta woman

“Police are PLENTY present in our inner-city neighborhoods.”
— 26-year-old Atlanta woman

I think [the police] are awesome. I’ve always had quick responses. They are always levelheaded and not reactionary. I have had to call them myself and I feel that if I do need to call the police, they will be here in very little time.
–Naponisha Sivad

“[Police] need to engage with the citizens in the community they serve as citizens and not criminals first. Build relationships to establish trust.”
— 24- year-old Brookhaven woman

“More late-night neighborhood patrols.”
— 33-year-old Brookhaven woman

“In my neighborhood, there is a significant police presence and they are very responsive. However, I am in Buckhead, and it may get better service than some other areas.”
— 68-year-old woman

1Q is an Atlanta-based startup that has developed a technology which sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text message from businesses and organizations across the country. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity. Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting REPORTER to 86312.

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