By NANCY COOK LAUER
Editor’s note: An incorrect version of this article ran in Saturday’s newspaper. This is the updated article on the Police Department’s most recent community satisfaction survey.
Less than half of Hawaii County residents responding to a Police Department survey believe the agency does a good job keeping the island safe, but most said they are comfortable contacting the department and were treated with “aloha and respect” by officers.
A record 608 people responded to the online survey during May, the Police Department said in a statement. The vast majority — 96.8 percent — were residents of the island. In the last survey, in 2010, 370 people responded and 340 responded in 2009.
Almost 73 percent of those responding to the survey said they had some contact with the police during the past year, and 59 percent agreed or strongly agreed the police officer showed professionalism. Asked if officers treated them with “aloha and respect,” 57.5 percent agreed or strongly agreed.
While 62.9 percent of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that Hawaii Island is a safe place to live, only 43.9 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I believe the Hawaii Police Department does a good job in keeping the island of Hawaii safe.” Another 26.1 percent were neutral and 29.8 percent either disagreed or strongly disagreed with that statement, and only 34.4 percent agreed or strongly agreed they were satisfied with the way the Police Department responds to crime in their community.
Some 70.5 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they were comfortable calling the Police Department to report a crime. That compared to just under 64 percent in 2010 and 71 percent in 2009.
Police Chief Harry Kubojiri said the department will use the survey results, as it has with previous survey results, to identify problem areas, determine if problem areas can be rectified through specific training of personnel, make changes to policies and procedures if necessary and clarify misinformation about laws or police practices.
“Your feedback in past surveys has allowed us to make changes that were beneficial to the Police Department and the public we serve, and we will continue to publish surveys in the future,” Kubojiri said. “Your input is one of the many tools that we use in our continuing efforts to improve how we provide services to the public.”
The vast majority — 452 of 608 respondents — answered the question, “How can the Hawaii Police Department serve you better?” Kubojiri and his staff are in the process of analyzing all the individual comments collected so the Police Department can identify common concerns, the department said.
The chief will then respond to the most common concerns expressed by the community members and visitors who participated in the survey. The responses to those comments and questions will be posted along with the questions on the Police Department’s website.
In the meantime, the public may view the survey summary at http://www.hawaiipolice.com/community-satisfaction-survey-summary-06-13-13.
Email Nancy Cook Lauer at firstname.lastname@example.org.