Satisfaction with Prince William Co. police varies with race, age

A new survey asking how residents of Prince William County, Virginia, feel about their police department shows satisfaction with law enforcement varied significantly between racial, ethnic and age groups.

The majority of residents interviewed said they were satisfied overall with the Prince William County Police Department — but Hispanic, African American and mixed-race residents expressed lower levels of satisfaction when asked whether law enforcement treated everyone fairly.

About 84% of white residents said they were “very satisfied” that treatment by police was fair, compared to 76% of Asians, 72% of mixed descent, 71% of Hispanics and 54% of African Americans.

In the survey results, African American and Hispanic residents were the most likely to express dissatisfaction with police on the topic of fair treatment within the community, with 13% of African Americans and 12% of Hispanics saying they were dissatisfied, compared to 3% of Asians and 5% of white residents.

The results also varied by age: 85% of residents 55 and up were “very satisfied” with police, compared to 83% aged 35-54 and 66% of those under 35.

Around 85% of respondents who had lived in Prince William County for over two decades said they were “very satisfied” with the police department.

Overall, the survey showed a 5% improvement in residents’ satisfaction with the department compared to the previous survey conducted in 2018, with 96% of residents saying they were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with county law enforcement.

The survey was conducted by phone with just over 800 residents late last year, through privately-owned research firm Issues & Answers.

Read the entire report on the Prince William County website.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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