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Survey finds support for police in Catskill village

Mar 29, 2021 2:15 pm

Sarah Trafton is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Catskill village police reform committee recently released the results of an informal survey it conducted to measure how the public felt about the department. Of the 230 people polled, 75 percent said they were satisfied with the department’s service; 76 percent said they trusted the police department; and, 80 percent said they would feel comfortable calling the police department. Of those residents surveyed, 57 percent said they would be comfortable filing a complaint about an officer without any fear of retaliation, while 26 percent said they would not feel comfortable doing so. Eighty-five percent said they had never experienced or witnessed inappropriate, threatening or intimidating behavior, or discrimination by a Catskill police officer, but 15 percent said they had. With respect to so-called mental health calls, 59 percent agreed officers should always respond even if a mental health worker is present, but 27 percent disagreed. Sixty-six percent rejected the idea of "defunding the police," while 18 percent agreed with the concept. Eighty-five percent of residents surveyed said they wanted to maintain the village department, while 15 percent said they did not want to preserve the department. Fourteen percent of those polled did not live in the village of Catskill. “The lack of trust for law enforcement that exists in so many communities is due in part to lack of accountability and transparency,” Catskill Village Board member Natasha Law said. “Too many failures to indict officers and too many acquittals have left communities feeling that there is no justice. When someone is killed and no one is held responsible it leaves people of color feeling vulnerable. To build trust, there must be consequences and the public must have information. That being said, I think we have a great police department, but no one is perfect and there is always room for growth and to become better.” Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.