Are You “Very Happy” With the Police Services You Receive?
When polling firms conduct public opinion surveys they attempt to quantify and qualify their results in terms of the overall accuracy of the survey and how strongly respondents feel about a particular issue. When asked questions respondents are given response options like “strongly agree, agree, either agree or disagree, disagree or strongly disagree”. When doing surveys on satisfaction levels with a service being provided the terminology used is usually framed in terms such as “very happy, happy”, etc.
A recent poll conducted by Forum Research showed that in Winnipeg 25% of respondents were “very happy” with the services offered by the Winnipeg Police Service.
Nationally, 39% of respondents were “very happy” with the policing services they receive.
The current budget for policing in Winnipeg is around $200 million per annum. That is up approximately $50 million from 5 years ago.
One could argue that when it comes to policing, money does not necessarily buy ‘happiness’.
The hell with choppers, ert teams etc. Let’s get more old fashioned boots on the street, and let them be used the way they used to be. Old fashioned police work.
Police do not prevent crime. The try to catch and convict bad guys after the fact. Look at how many arsons took place between Grant and Corydon last year before they caught that fella (a fella who we were supposed to be watching out for in the first place…) Each arson led to mucho direct sadness, and at least 14 incidents in a small neighborhood stoke the fire of general unhappiness, and hence the poll.
From a strictly utilitarian standpoint, money _does_ buy happiness. Or at least it can, if it is spent right. Spending more on catching the bad guys well after the fact of particular social breakdown events will not likely buy many ‘utiles’, right? I mean, victims are not made happy by a manhunt. They would have been made happy by not being forced into victimhood.
When operating in the reactive mode (as most police departments do) policing does little in terms of preventing crime. However, if police departments are able to rise above and leave behind the tenets and practices of the professional model of policing with stresses random patrol, rapid response and reactive investigation it has been shown they can have a significant impact in terms of preventing crime. It does however require a change in mindset, organizational structure and deployment model, difficult to accomplish in a polcie setting.