American Police Officers Alliance conducted a brushfire poll earlier this year called, “We Ask America.” We asked registered voters questions about current law enforcement issues, including funding, training, perceptions of government, and more.
The answers we received were eye-opening and have important implications for the midterm elections coming up in November 2018. A full report of our poll will be released soon, but until then we wanted to share some of the most interesting statistics from our study.
Do You Support Police?
Good news: our citizens still overwhelmingly favor our police force. We asked people what their general opinions of police officers were, and 58% responded that they strongly approve and another 25% approved of police officers. These statistics show that as a nation, we are not as polarized on our perceptions of police officers as current others may suggest.
Bad news: Most of our respondents did not trust the government to support our police officers and properly handle law enforcement issues. Only ⅓ believed that elected officials are doing enough to support our police officers in terms of providing safety equipment, increased protection from wrongful suspensions, and other issues affecting the morale of officers.
And the trust goes down with each level of government, with the highest amount of trust being as local levels of government and the least levels of trust with Congress’ ability to handle law enforcement issues. Based on our poll, 48% approved of how their local government handled law enforcement issues, 44% approved at the state level, and 31% approved at the federal level. There is certainly a lack of trust that our government is currently doing the best for our law enforcement.
Is Crime a Problem in Your Community?
Another important issue that we covered in our poll is a crime in our communities. Interestingly, respondents were pretty divided on whether or not the crime was a problem in their community. This could be due to many different variables, including geographic location and individual involvement in the community, but it is worth noting that 41% said that there was a crime problem and 44% said that there was not (15% weren’t sure).
Drugs were the biggest concern affecting communities by a wide margin. The sale and manufacturing of illegal drugs topped the list, followed closely by the heroin and opioid crisis. Crimes committed by illegal immigrants, gang-related activity, and juvenile crimes were the only other issues that received more than 5% response.
We were inspired by many of the answers we received in this national poll and look forward to sharing the report with all of our supporters!
Midterm elections will be an important time to lift our voices and use our power of the vote to choose elected officials that truly care about our police officers. This report will help shed light on the national issues and perceptions facing law enforcement today.