Survey: Americans respect police

WASHINGTON — A majority of Americans living in struggling communities say they have respect for and confidence in the police who patrol their neighborhoods, according to a survey released Sunday.

More than 7 in 10 Americans who live in these communities said they have some or a lot of confidence in the police who patrol their neighborhoods, according to the State of Opportunity in America survey. The numbers go up even higher when asked about respect for the police: 86 percent of people in struggling neighborhoods said they had some or a lot of respect for their local police.

The survey looks at the relationship between police and “fragile” communities, described as locations with high proportions of people struggling in their daily lives who also have limited opportunities for social mobility.

Those same neighborhoods used to be called disadvantaged and at-risk, noted Gerard Robinson, executive director of the Center for Advancing Opportunity. The term “fragile” is a better descriptor, Robinson said.

The survey, conducted from May to August 2017, was mailed to 28,000 people in both urban and rural areas of the United States.

There were racial and ethnic differences on the police question.

Almost 2 in 5 of black residents of fragile neighborhoods — 39 percent — said they had little to no confidence in police, which is higher than the 26 percent of Hispanic residents and 21 percent of white residents. The same differences can be seen for respect for the police, where 19 percent of blacks said they had little or no respect for the police, compared with 11 percent of whites and 9 percent of Hispanics.