A new poll suggests Calgarians have mixed reviews of the city’s police force.
The poll from Mainstreet Research released on Wednesday 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 (48 per cent) said they either somewhat disapprove or strongly disapprove, while 39 per cent said they either 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.
Calgary Mayor Nenshi responded to the poll results while at the Calgary Awards on Wednesday.
“The moment a police service loses faith with the citizens that it serves, you have a big problem – and luckily we are far from that this year.”
“But we must always be very vigilant, and we will continue to be vigilant.”
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.
BELOW: Complete survey from Mainstreet Research