Almost Half of Top City Officials Say Drug Problem Worsening
According to a recent survey of the nation's top officials, almost half say the problem of drugs in America's cities is worsening (National League of Cities, The State of America's Cities: The Eleventh Annual Opinion Survey of Municipal Elected Officals, Jan. 1995).
The survey, conducted by the National League of Cities (NLC), finds that 48.8% of the 382 mayors, city councilmembers, and other elected officials polled reported that the problem of drugs is worsening in their cities.
When asked to name the problems that are worsening in their cities, the highest reported problem was unfunded mandates (74.2% reporting that that situation had worsened in 1994), followed by youth crime (63.4%), school violence (52.0%), gangs (51.3%), cable TV rates and service (49.4%), and drugs (48.8%).
As for factors that were improving in their commuities, officials said that police/community relations had been improving more frequently than any other factor (54.6%).
When asked for the measures that would reduce crime, more city officials answered bolstering family strength (63.6%) more frequently than any other factor. Only 14.9% said that increasing funding of drug treatment would reduce crime.
|Strengthening and supporting family stability|
|Jobs and targeted economic development|
|More police officers|
|Neighborhood Watch programs|
|More police foot patrols|
|More recreational programs|
|Early childhood programs (e.g. Head Start)|
|Reintroducing punishment into schools|
|Conflict resolution programs|
|Funding of drug treatment|
|Citizens reporting crime|
|Elimination of parole|
|Building more prisons|
|More death penalties|
Source: National League of Cities, The State of America's Cities, Jan. 1995, p. 14.
The sample of 382 elected officials was taken randomly from the database of NLC members. The survey is conducted annually, with surveys mailed in October. The 1994 poll is the eleventh annual survey for NLC.
[To obtain a copy of this report, contact the National League of Cities, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20004, 202-626-3158.]