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Gun violence is the top resident concern in Bloomington police survey

Assault weapons and hand guns are seen for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield, Ill.
Seth Perlman
Associated Press
Assault weapons and hand guns are seen for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield, Ill. 

Bloomington residents worry most about gun violence, according to a police department survey of people who have recently asked the department for help.

A third of those who responded say their top concern is gun violence. Theft is next at 13% and just behind that were personal attacks and drug sales.

More than half said they want to see more police presence in neighborhoods.

“The top was increasing patrol car visibility followed by increased community engagement, increased officer training, increased information sharing, and then increased agency staff,” said department spokesperson Bryce Janssen.

The sample size is small — just 72 people sent feedback out of nearly 500 surveys.

Janssen said BPD will continue to use the same questions for some months to build the responses from people who have called for either emergency or non-emergency assistance.

“I welcome a higher participation and more feedback from those we have served so we can better measure areas we can improve," said said Chief Jamal Simington.

Three quarters of those responding said they have a positive view of Bloomington police.

"I am thankful for the feedback from the community about your police department. I appreciate the professional efforts our dispatchers, community service officers and police officers display on a daily basis,” said Simington.

Of those responding, 14% had a neutral view of BPD, and 11% had a negative view of the agency. Janssen said the vendor of the My90 surveys was positive about the perception of Bloomington police.

“Considering how small those (negative) numbers were and how small the data set was, they think we did well compared to other departments,” said Janssen.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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