October 17, 2019

Elucd announced the findings of its most recent Blockwise survey conducted in South Bend, Indiana to measure South Bend residents’ sentiment about critical public safety issues.

This survey follows polling in June and comes after a series of seven community meetings hosted by the South Bend Board of Public Safety promising steps toward renewed open dialogue with residents.

“Residents in South Bend have shared a wide range of opinions with us over the past several months--likely impacted by a high-profile police incident and the continued spotlight of a presidential campaign,” said Michael Simon, co-founder and CEO, Elucd. “One of the top indicators we look for is trends over time--and it’s clear that the events of the summer and early fall, including having the opportunity to express views directly to city leaders, have had a positive impact on how residents of South Bend see their government.”

Key findings from the latest survey research include:

  • Trust scores continued to diverge significantly along racial lines. South Bend’s overall trust score is 68/100, showing +9 increase in the Trust Score from June to October. This is the largest change in a 3-month period that Elucd has measured in any city in such a short time period
  • However, the Trust score among Black respondents remain significantly lower; 58 for Black residents vs. 72 for White residents.
  • Safety scores measured how safe people feel or perceive themselves in South Bend and are relatively close for Black and White residents. However the aggregate score is significantly lower than other comparable American cities. Overall, South Bend had a Safety score of 56. The safety score among Black respondents was 51 and for White respondents was 58.
  • Younger residents (18-34) were less likely to trust local police when compared to older cohorts; residents 55+ had the highest average Trust score for police at 73, 11 points higher than the Trust score of 18-34-year olds.

Suggestions from South Bend Residents

In addition to questions assessing the level of trust in police and perception of safety, respondents were asked to provide open-ended commentary on police/community relations.

Select comments include:

  • “Go door to door and introduce themselves to the people they serve in the neighborhood they serve.”
  • “Have officers in the neighborhood; in particular, walking or riding bikes.”
  • “Address the needs of the homeless. Be that vets, drug addicts, and families.”
  • “Address the needs of the police department through increased and more diverse recruitment. Continue to build legitimate trust in communities.”
  • “Begin cultural sensitivity and civility training and enforce it within the SBPD. Continue to pursue recruiting in minority communities.”

Over the next several months, Elucd will continue analyzing the movement in scores and monitoring developments in South Bend to understand if there is any sustained impact of these proactive relationship building efforts.

Background and Method

The survey was comprised of more than 689 responses from a demographically balanced sample of South Bend residents from polling conducted between September 23-28, 2019. The survey was delivered to respondents via Elucd’s Blockwise, an innovative technology that engages city residents through digital advertisements on the social media platforms, apps and websites they use and visit every day. Leveraging census data, Elucd ensures its results reflect an accurate and relevant sample of a city’s demographics—including race, age, sex, income level, and educational attainment—to make sure all voices in a city are heard.

Using survey responses, Elucd generates scores on a scale of 0-100 measuring how safe residents feel in their neighborhood and how much they trust local police. Elucd also identifies key issues specifically mentioned as residents’ top priorities.

Large and small cities from New York City to Redondo Beach, California already use Elucd’s community sentiment technology on an ongoing basis to measure, track, and understand public sentiment.

About Elucd

Elucd is reinventing the way communities interact with local government across the country. Using Elucd’s Blockwise, residents are empowered to give real time, actionable input to local leaders to guide policing and policy decision-making on a neighborhood, community and precinct-level. Committed to giving citizens a seat at the table and fostering greater government transparency, Elucd gathers real feedback from every neighborhood in a city so residents can shape the city they want.