The NYPD is scrapping a $4.1 million contract with a Brooklyn-based tech company hired for its “Sentiment Meter” to gauge New Yorkers’ feelings on safety and police, officials told The Post.
The move comes in the wake of the George Floyd murder protests, a surge in violent crime citywide and shifting attitudes about cops — some of them negative.
“It was just not the right tool for us,” an NYPD spokesman said, adding the department will study other ways to survey citizens.
The NYPD has already paid the company, Elucd, $3.4 million for surveys that started under a prior $2.9 million contract awarded in 2017 by the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.
But the city will save $3.1 million by dropping the current four-year contract as of Sept. 30, officials said.
“The department was looking to develop and analyze accurate and meaningful data at the sector level. We did not find the data Elucd was able to develop beneficial to our need to measure specific grass-roots public sentiment toward the department and its activities,” the NYPD said in a statement to The Post.
Elucd, which solicits business in other cities and touts its relationship with NYPD as a major endorsement, defended its work.
The company said it polled more than 250,000 New Yorkers, including 44,185 in 2020, via surveys that popped up on Facebook and Instagram.
The surveys asked people whether they felt safe from crime and trusted the cops in their neighborhood, rating answers on a scale of 1 to 10. They also asked users for the No. 1 problem in their area.
“Trust is critical to neighborhood policing, to building relationships with youth and with those in underserved communities and to solving and further reducing crime. That is why this tool is so critical,” Elucd CEO Michael Simon said in a statement.
Sources say the NYPD trust ratings slipped sharply in the past few months in multiple precincts, including northern Brooklyn and the South Bronx.
The NYPD has refused to release any precinct-level data. Last week, it provided only charts showing average trust and safety scores for the five boroughs through March.
The department will not divulge results collected since March, when protests, violence, looting and shootings spiked, saying Elucd made mistakes in collecting data.
“We think it’s completely erroneous. We don’t have enough confidence in it,” a spokesman said.
The Sentiment Meter asked the following questions:
1. When it comes to the threat of crime, how safe do you feel in your neighborhood?
2. Please indicate whether you agree or disagree:
a. The police in my neighborhood treat local residents with respect.
b. The police in my neighborhood listen to and take into account the concerns of local residents.
3. What is the No. 1 issue or problem on your block or in your neighborhood that you would like the police to deal with? Please be specific.
The NYPD said it would not release answers to preserve the respondents’ anonymity.
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