Outreach Group Surveys Concerns of St. Joseph Residents

Survey results say residents are concerned about safety and education.

Posted: Jul. 4, 2018 1:26 PM

(ST JOSEPH, Mo.) The Community Alliance of St. Joseph has sponsored a community survey every other year since 2010.

"We've seen some mixed reaction to the results, we've seen some noticeable achievements from 2016 to 2018." said Steve Johnston, director of the St. Joseph Community Alliance.

He says those results show St. Joseph residents feel less safe.

"Public safety, and security is one of the key factors there." said Johnston.

Those who took the survey cited public safety and education as major concerns, the direction of both could determine if those residents stay in St. Joseph over the next decade.

"Perception is reality, so what people say in a survey, that's something we've got to address." said Chris Connally, Police Chief of the St. Joseph Police Department.

For Connally, the survey is another way for him and his department to connect with the community.

"Our officers live and work in this community, and we raise children in this community, so it's important to us to have the maximum impact that we can."  Connally said.

The first survey eight years ago showed 70 percent of respondents said they would raise children in St. Joseph, this year's survey shows only 33 percent feel the same way. It goes on to say only 21 percent of those surveyed felt there was enough being done to prevent crime. While Chief Connally admits its disheartening, he says the feedback is crucial to moving forward.

"Its important for us to get the perspective of the community, not just our perspective when it comes out to laying out these initiatives and these strategies." Connally said .

There is good news, 82 percent of those surveyed felt safe at work, and 78 percent felt safe in their neighborhoods.

"All these areas are important to us because we wanna make our city thrive, we want be out there and meet, or exceed the expectations of the community," Connally said . "As we focus as a community and zero in on specific strategies, we can make a difference." said Johnston.

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