Merger Survey Reveals Differences Along Racial, Class Lines

by admin on August 15, 2011

The Louisville Merger 2.0 Task Force released the results of a long-awaited study last week. The survey found residents have mixed views on safety and public protection services with opinions divided along lines of race, class and zip code.

Around 61 percent of African-American respondents said they feel safe in their neighborhoods, but 18 percent do not. That’s compared to close to 73 percent of whites who feel safe in their area and 9.5 percent who do not.

Shively resident Cheketa Tinsley, who owns a small business in the area, says she feels safe in the neighborhood, but is surprised by the numbers among other African-American residents.

“Yeah, I am surprised that it’s so high because the perception is that we aren’t safe in the media. So, I am highly surprised by it. Sixty-one percent that’s really high,” she says.

The poll had a three percent margin of error and included a sampling of over 800 white respondents compared to only about 150 black residents. Around 60 percent of African-American respondents said they feel the city is safe in general compared to 56 percent of whites. But it also shows blacks are twice as likely as whites to feel less safe in their own neighborhoods.

“You know if you’re born in it you don’t necessarily see what those that are on the outside looking in see. It’s like home so if this is what you’re used to and you know these neighborhoods, you know the people or know of them and they know of you, I think that may be why,” says Tinsley.

Statistics also found whites are slightly more satisfied with police, fire and EMS services than black residents. And one out of four African-Americans has a strong level of dissatisfaction with the police, the survey shows.

Tinsley says the survey should have sampled a larger group of African-Americans and low-income residents to better understand their views.

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