A new Gallup poll has found that 76% of adults reported having “a great deal” of respect for their local police departments. This number has surged 12 percentage points since last year's poll, almost matching the record high of 77% reported in 1967. Only 17% of those surveyed this year said they had “some” respect for police, while 7% said they had “hardly any.” The Gallup poll conducted this survey via telephone interviews with 1,017 random adults from every state between October 5th and 9th.
This year's poll also found a racial divide in attitudes towards police, as 80% of whites reported “a great deal” of respect, compared to 67% of minorities who expressed the same sentiment. In last year's poll, only 53% of non-whites reported a great deal of respect for their local cops, however. The current poll also found that 81% of adults over 55 reported great respect for police, compared to 69% of adults aged 18 to 34.
The 2016 poll also reported that 56% of those surveyed said they had confidence in the police, up from last year's 22-year-low of 52%. Last year, the number of people who reported that they had “very little” or “no” confidence in police was 18%, the highest number Gallup has measured to date. Highly-publicized police-involved fatalities and incidents of police misconduct may have soured the public's opinion of police over the past two years, but law enforcement agencies received new waves of support after the shootings of police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Dallas this past summer. Gallup believes that this new wave of support may account for some of the boost in this year's poll.