Prince William Co. residents weigh in on police performance, areas for improvement

Residents in Prince William County, Virginia, shared their take on police performance in local neighborhoods for this year’s Police Department Community Survey.

The survey, which is conducted by the county every two years, is used to help gauge how residents feel about local law enforcement and their quality of life.

The results showed an overall satisfaction rating of 97% when looking at how safe residents feel in their communities and most residents (95%) expressed approval when asked about the police department, which is an improvement compared to 2018 survey results.

When asked whether residents feel police respond in a timely manner, 96% of respondents said they were overall satisfied, which is a 1% drop compared to 2020. Crime prevention showed room for improvement, with only 66% of residents stating they were very satisfied, a 5% drop compared to 2020.

Residents were also asked how safe they feel while visiting commercial areas throughout the county. That number dropped from a 98% overall satisfaction rating in 2020 to 95% this year.

As with other surveys in recent years, Black or mixed race residents rated the department below the county average across the board.

Residents also recommended a more visible police presence and more community outreach, including looking for ways to improve police perception among younger residents and minority communities.

In a county of about 500,000 residents, 800 respondents took part in the survey, which is part of the department’s compliance with national requirements set by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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