Americans’ respect for police near all-time high, poll says

Police officer in bulletproof vest outdoors, back view

Americans’ respect for law enforcement has climbed to a near-record high, according to a new Gallup poll.

The findings, released Monday, show that 76% of adults said they have “a great deal” of respect for their local police — a 12-point jump since last year and just one point shy of the all-time Gallup high in 1967.

Another 17% of Americans said they have “some” respect, while 7% said they have “hardly any.”

The poll was released against the backdrop of more than two years of regular nationwide protests over police encounters with unarmed African-Americans.

Gallup found the racial split in attitudes toward police, with 80% of whites saying they have “a great deal” of respect for local law enforcement, compared with 67% of non-whites.

Those numbers for each group were higher than the previous year when 69% of whites and 53% of nonwhites said they have “a great deal” of respect.

The Gallup survey also showed police improving their public standing in another area earlier this year, too. A poll in June showed 56% of Americans have confidence in police up from a 22-year low of 52% in 2015.

The Gallup poll was conducted from Oct. 5 to Oct. 9 via telephone with a random sample of 1,017 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.