Police and Public Attitudes

images-1SOME GOOD NEWS. While the attitudes of white citizens have rebounded concerning the honesty and ethics of our nation’s police, a similar effect did not occur among non-whites.
The following article from Gallup shows there is still is a lot of work to do.
Forward-thinking leaders would do well to do some surveying in their own communities in order to establish a “trust and support” baseline so they can answer that important community question, “Chief, what is the level of trust and support you have within our community?


DECEMBER 21, 2015

Americans; Faith in Honesty, Ethics of Police Rebounds

by Lydia Saad


  • Majority again rate police highly on honesty, ethical standards
  • Figure had fallen to 48% in 2014, after plunge among nonwhites
  • Nurses retain top spot as the most highly rated profession

“After dipping to 48% in 2014 amid a national firestorm over police treatment of young black men, the rating Americans give the honesty and ethical standards of police has rebounded to 56%. This is more consistent with the 54% to 58% ratings Gallup found between 2010 and 2013.

Americans' Ratings of Honesty and Ethics of Police -- 1977-2015

“Four in 10 nonwhites now rate the ethical standards of police as very high or high — a sharp increase from the 23% who held this view in 2014. A steep drop in nonwhites’ ratings of the police in 2014 was the sole cause of the profession’s overall ratings dip last year. While nonwhites’ attitudes have not rebounded to their pre-2014 levels, the slight increase in whites’ positive views of the police this year, from 59% to 64%, coupled with the rise in nonwhites’ ratings, pushes the overall percentage back to the “normal” range seen in recent years.

Honesty/Ethics Ratings of Police Officers, by Race

“This year’s results are based on a Dec. 2-6 poll in which Gallup asked Americans to rate the honesty and ethics of the police and workers in 20 other professions.

Nurses Still No. 1, Congress Among the Lowest

“Nurses have topped Gallup’s Honesty and Ethics ranking every year but one since they were added to the list in 1999…

Gallup's 2015 Honesty and Ethics of Professions Ratings

Bottom Line

“The overall image of the police is largely restored to what it was before incidents in Ferguson and elsewhere in 2014 spawned the “Black Lives Matter” movement against police behavior. However, it is a tenuous recovery as the police’s rating among nonwhites is still not fully repaired. That could partly reflect additional controversies over police behavior that have erupted in 2015, including the death of Freddie Gray — a young black man who died while in police custody in Baltimore. As long as events like these continue to make news or spread through social media, the police’s image may continue to suffer among minorities, even if the profession’s overall image remains high because of whites’ positive views…”



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