Poll: Respect For The Police Increases Across All Demographic Groups

Caroline May | Reporter

Americans’ respect for the police is on the rise — nearly reaching record highs — despite recent criticism and attacks on local law enforcement, a new poll reveals.

According to Gallup, 76 percent of Americans say they have a “great deal” of respect for the police in their area, a 12 percentage point increase compared to last year. Another 17 percent told Gallup they have “some” respect for the police, and just 7 percent say they have “hardly” any.

The polling outfit said that it has surveyed Americans’ respect for the police nine times since 1965 and this year the public displayed the highest level of respect for police since the 1990s. That level of respect is just one percentage point lower than the record 77 percent hit in 1967.

Increases in respect for the police, as recorded in Gallup’s annual survey on crime, cuts across all demographic groups polled.

“The increase in shootings of police coincided with high-profile incidents of law enforcement officials shooting and killing unarmed black men. Despite the flaring of racial tensions after these incidents, respect for local police has increased among both whites and nonwhites,” Gallup reports.

According to the poll 80 percent of whites and 67 percent of nonwhites say they have a “great deal” of respect for the police in their area, up 11 percentage points and 14 percentage points from last year, respectively.

Ideological groups and party divides also experienced similar increases in respect for the police compared to last year, including conservatives (up 16 percentage points), moderates (up five percentage points) liberals (up 21 percentage points), Republicans (up four percentage points), Independents (up 15 percentage points), and Democrats (up 14 percentage points).

Americans across the age groups polled also were more likely to say they have “a great deal” of respect for the police, including Americans ages of 18 to 34 (up 19 percentage points), those ages 35-54 (up 16 percentage points), and those ages 55 and older (up 4 percentage points).

While the nation is in the midst of an ever-tense conversation on police brutality and race, the Gallup poll shows there is still a good deal of respect for the nation’s law enforcement officials.

“Although confidence in police varies among subgroups, majorities of all groups say they have a great deal of respect for their local police. And the percentage of national adults who say they have ‘hardly any’ respect for local law enforcement remains small,” Gallup reported.

The poll of 1,017 adults has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.

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