Confidence in police

The latest public opinion survey from the Pew Research Center shows dropping public confidence in police generally, but peoples’ confidence in their own local police is unchanged over the last five years. Blacks and younger adults expressed more critical views of police performance than others.


4 Responses to “Confidence in police”

  1. Ashley Says:

    While it didn’t appear to be the primary topic here, I did notice some discussion about military equipment and weapons. I’m not sure why “militarization” has become the subject of such intense debate in recent months.
    To paraphrase Ed Davis, law enforcement should be judged by the values it embraces and seeks to uphold, not by the tools it uses.
    Also, as Mike Homer recently pointed out, most of these items have been in use by civilian law enforcement for decades. The only difference was the full retail cost came from local agency budgets.

  2. John Kapinos Says:

    No big surprises here. It is interesting that generally, respondents to the survey tend to hold a higher opinion of their own local police than the profession as a whole. Sort of mirroring the same opinion trends re: one’s own Congressional representative vs. Congress as an institution. I wonder about the effect of media coverage on the broad questions about confidence in police generally. As media stories tend to focus on the sensational and most obvious dysfunction, does that distort overall public perception? Whereas, most local agencies have some degree of competency in public outreach, do they manage to get a more balanced view from their constituents?

  3. Gunther Says:

    The prison guards in my town have no respect for the local police at all, but then again many police officers view prison guards as wannabe cops who couldn’t pass the various police tests.

  4. Gunther Says:

    In the labor strikes of 1920s, there was an Alabama sheriff who was given some heavy machine guns and told the striking workers that he would not hestiate to use them.

    Many police departments in the 1920s and 1930s had military weapons like Thompson submachine guns and heavy machine guns in response to the rise of the mafia and labor strikes.

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