NEW ORLEANS - A survey by the University of New Orleans shows that, unsurprisingly, residents in the city of New Orleans find crime to be the most pressing problem in the city.
"49 percent, nearly half of Orleans Parish residents told us that crime is the dominant issue for them," said UNO Survey Director Ed Chervenak.
While that dropped from the six in ten residents surveyed finding crime as the key issue during the last UNO survey three years ago, over half of the 400 surveyed expressed concerns that crime is increasing, and 36 percent said they don't feel safe around their homes at night.
"One of the big increases that we saw was for police protection, and I think that just has to do with the idea of increased police response times that we've heard about," Chervenak said. "But, they like Chief Harrison very much."
Almost 30 percent said someone in their family had been a crime victim in three years, and disturbingly, nearly half hear gunshots a few times a year or monthly.
"It is frightening," Chervenak said. "The fact that we have to ask that question is frightening."
As far as the Quality of Life in New Orleans, 66 percent of those surveyed are satisfied. But it is down from three years ago, with only one third believing the city has become a better place to live, and less than half expressing optimism about the city's future.
"Overall, I think it appears that the post Katrina honeymoon is over, that we've kind of moved into a new normal that kind of looks like the old normal, where we have a polarized community that is not necessarily optimistic about the future, and is not very happy about the performance of government."
They're especially not happy with government services.
"They're extremely negative about the conditions of the roads," Chervenak said.
At the last minute the surveyors threw in a question about the controversial issue of the moment, and half favored removing the Confederate monuments. But the issue was racially polarized to the extent that surveyors were surprised that it caused Mayor Landrieu's approval rating to drop by five percent, though six out of ten residents still think he is doing a good job.
In Jefferson, 94 percent of the 400 residents surveyed there are quite satisfied with the quality of life in that parish. While crime is also a concern, only 28 percent in Jefferson rate it as the number one problem in the parish. Seven in ten surveyed like new Parish President Mike Yenni, and nearly eight in ten think Sheriff Newell Normand is doing a good job.