New Orleanians are slightly more satisfied by the performance of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) than they were a year ago. That was the result of a poll released by the New Orleans Crimefighting Coalition, an umbrella group for 25 civic organizations. When the poll was taken last year, only 33 percent of respondents said they were "very" or "somewhat" satisfied by the NOPD, while 62 percent were unsatisfied. This year, the satisfactory rate reached 50 percent, while the unsatisfactory rate dipped to 42 percent.

  On specific questions, respondents were most dissatisfied with NOPD's ability to get drugs off the streets (2009: 75 percent; 2010: 63 percent), but were happiest with the enforcement of traffic laws (2009: 34 percent; 2010: 35 percent — a statistically insignificant difference).

  NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas, who's known to love statistics, quickly issued a press release touting the improvements. In the statement, he noted, "I am heartened by the increasing number of New Orleanians who are satisfied by the overall performance of our police department, and enthusiastically thank those officers and staff who have helped to make this difference; but, clearly we have much work to do."

  The poll, which was conducted by phone by Wilson Research Strategies Aug. 24-26 — three months into Serpas' tenure — surveyed 600 adults spread equally across the NOPD's eight districts. — Kevin Allman