New Study Surveys How Safe Charlottesville Residents Feel

By: Michael Gorsegner Email
By: Michael Gorsegner Email

January 5, 2007

The findings showed that the majority of the 1,100 surveyed feel safe all around the city. However, those feelings dropped both at night and in certain areas.

"It's a pretty decent neighborhood. I have lived here for five years. I ain't never had no problems," said Orangedale resident Jesse Jones.

Jesse Jones lives in Orangedale and says he feels like his neighborhood is pretty safe. However, a recent survey of 1,100 Charlottesville residents found that only 65 percent of people agree during nighttime hours.

"I think you can go into most communities across America and people tend to be a little bit more consciousness about crime and personal safety at night," said Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo.

Charlottesville's top cop says he was encouraged by the survey that showed at least 94 percent of people felt safe in all of the neighborhoods in the City during the day. The numbers were even stronger for the Downtown and Business areas, with over 95 percent feeling safe during the daylight hours. However, Longo says it is no time to get complacent.

"Even though we are relatively safe. There are tremendous issues going on around us and that it is only a matter of time that this community and other communities around the Country will have to deal with," Chief Longo said.

He says the Department is working hard to reverse some negative perceptions of communities by a adding a greater police presence in those areas. It's that presence that Jones feels is working.

"I have been in some pretty good neighborhoods and some rough neighborhoods and this neighborhood is pretty decent," Jones said.

Along with community policing, Mayor David Brown says the City continues to reach out to other organizations to help certain areas like Prospect Orangedale. He also said he was encouraged by the surveys results.

The survey was conducted by the UVa Center for Survey Research and took nearly a year to compile.

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