Kettering residents concerned about theft, burglaries, police survey shows

ajc.com

Crime concerns of residents in Montgomery County’s most populated suburban city have shifted, according to a recently released police survey.

Kettering residents, meanwhile, continue to give their police officers high marks in preventing crime and in public interactions, survey results indicate.

More survey respondents indicated they were not victims of crimes in 2020, increasing to 76%, up six points from two years earlier, when the last survey was completed, police said.

Theft and burglary topped the crime concerns of Kettering residents, overtaking drug problems, which dropped by 21% from 2018, records show.

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In all, 71% of all residents responding to the questionnaire this year from the Kettering Police Department named theft and burglary the highest concern, followed by drugs (55%), traffic safety issues (49%) and safe schools (39%), results indicated.

“Citizens want increased patrol in their neighborhoods, to be kept safe from theft and burglary drug activity, and speeders,” a summary of the findings state.

Safe schools also decreased as a concern from the previous survey, when 56% of respondents called them a priority.

“Citizens desire to be kept informed of situations and the status of crime and other issues that affect the livability of the community,” it added.

The survey was conducted this year for 2020 issues, said Patrolman Tyler Johnson, the KPD’s public information officer. Residents were last surveyed in 2019 for the year prior, he said.

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The most recent survey included 1,000 mailers being sent out, as well as web links being sent to random residents, according to the department. Completed surveys totaled 255, 75 online and 180 paper surveys, records state.

Neighborhood speeding was noted in this year’s survey as a “big problem” from 30% of respondents while 40% rated it “somewhat of a problem.”

Neighborhood traffic concerns were “the most significant difference” from the previous survey, Johnson said.

Respondents gave Kettering police a ranking of 4.5 on a 5 scale, the same as two years ago. This included approval ratings of 96% in preventing crime, being polite when dealing with people and being friendly, similar marks as the previous survey.

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“The biggest thing we stress is building that relationship through community policing — being respectful and kind to everybody; being accountable and transparent with all of our actions,” Johnson said. “So I think that’s a huge driver for us.”

Also getting approval numbers in the mid-90s, according to the survey, were: Police earn confidence of the public (95); officers treat all people with equal respect (95); police attend to problems in a timely manner (94); and residents feel safe in the presence of Kettering police (94).

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