A new poll suggests Calgarians have mixed reviews of the city’s police force.
The Postmedia/Mainstreet poll asked over 800 Calgarians if they approved or disapproved of the way the Calgary Police Service (CPS) is doing its job.
Almost half of respondents said they either somewhat disapprove or strongly disapprove, while 39 per cent said they strongly approve or somewhat approve.
BELOW: Poll numbers show how Calgarians responded when asked if they approve or disapprove of how police are doing their job.
“Calgarians have a negative view about the Calgary Police Service with 39 per cent approval compared to 48 per cent disapproval,” president of Mainstreet Research Quito Maggi said. “These numbers may concern some but there is a silver lining: strong approval is at 22 per cent compared to strong disapproval at just 11 per cent – this may better reveal the public mood.”
“A lot of people are in the middle.”
According to Mainstreet, 39 per cent said their opinion about CPS had improved in the past year, compared to just 25 per cent who said it had diminished.
In addition, most people (58 per cent) said they were confident they would be treated fairly if they were the subject of an investigation by police.
“Again, when we compare those who said they were very confident (17 per cent) with those who said they were not at all confident (22 per cent), a different picture emerges that shows polarized opinions,” Maggi said.
“There is similar confidence in terms of accountability, with a majority indicating they believe CPS officers involved in misconduct are held accountable.”
Below:Poll numbers show how Calgarians responded when asked if police officers are held accountable for serious misconduct.
Most people (27 per cent), however, felt officers need better training to handle high stress situations.
“Opinions on this matter may change with more information or awareness – as a significant number of Calgarians weren’t sure about training requirements,” Maggi stated.
One question where pollsters were most in sync was the use of body cameras on officers.
In total, 71 per cent said they approved of officers being required to wear the cameras, while just 14 per cent disapproved.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi was asked about the results during the opening of the new Royal Vista Multi-Service Building.
“Our support here in Calgary has always been extraordinarily high and our internal surveys show it remains extraordinarily high, though there is a bit of a dip,” Nenshi told reporters. “And this is important for us to understand because for police to work, they have to be deeply-embedded in community. They cannot be instruments of fear or control.”
The results also called into question the Calgary Police Commission’s annual report, which shows a very high satisfaction rate for police, to which Nenshi says it’s important to keep in mind the context, methodology and even trends from survey-to-survey, to get a full picture.
The poll from Mainstreet Research surveyed 823 Calgarians via landlines and cellphones on Sept. 7 and was released on Sept. 28.
According to Mainstreet, the poll carries a margin of error of +/- 3.41%, 19 times out of 20.
Results were weighed by age and gender based on the 2011 Canadian Census.