Park safety again highlights survey of Las Vegas residents

For the second year in a row, 39 percent of Las Vegans surveyed in an annual poll feel safe in city parks.

City Council members homed in Wednesday on a perceived lack of safety in parks in the 2017 annual community survey, conducted by the Kansas City-based ETC Institute.

“What is it that they don’t feel safe about? That’s what you need to know so you can attack the problem,” Councilman Stavros Anthony said. “Are they not feeling safe because the swing set is broken, or because there’s a sex offender in the park?”

The survey, which cost $25,000, drew responses from at least 150 residents of each of the city’s six wards. They represent a range of ages, ethnicities and income levels.

Of the Las Vegans surveyed, 83 percent feel safe in their neighborhoods during the day, 58 percent feel safe in their neighborhoods at night, 65 percent feel safe downtown during the day and 30 percent feel safe downtown at night.

City officials created a plan last year to add 33 marshals to the city ranks over three years. Five new marshals are on the job now — two are working solo, and three are field training with a partner. Another six are participating in an academy, city spokesman Jace Radke said.

According to 2016 data, seven city parks were among the 10 areas with the highest volume of calls to marshals. The Fremont Street Experience, the Las Vegas Detention Center and City Hall were the others. Calls for Lorenzi Park alone totaled nearly as many as the Fremont Street Experience.

More marshal positions are expected to be added to the city’s next budget, which takes effect July 1.

The majority of survey respondents are happy with the the quality of services, image and overall quality of life in Las Vegas.

The overall satisfaction with city services in Las Vegas is 22 percent higher than the average for American cities with at least 500,000 residents, ETC Institute Project Manager Jason Morado said.

More than half of respondents are dissatisfied with the quality of public schools in Las Vegas. The survey asks about public education, but public schools don’t fall under the city’s jurisdiction.

“That makes an inference that we are in a position to do something,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said.

The survey identified downtown parking access and information, economic development, enforcing junk and debris cleanup on private properties, street maintenance and homeless services among the city’s top areas needing improvement.

City officials on Wednesday asked for more detailed information so they can use it to fix problems.

“Our wards are different in many ways, so if it’s more specific, we can do a better job,” Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian said.

Contact Jamie Munks at or 702-383-0340. Follow @Journo_Jamie_ on Twitter.

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