Los Angeles, CA – The United Coalition of Public Safety (UCOPS), a national coalition of law enforcement unions will release results of a national voter-opinion survey commissioned in January of 2020 on policing and public safety issues and call for a National Summit on how best to improve communication, transparency and empathy between rank-and-file police officers and the communities they serve.
The results show that 82% of registered voters throughout the United States surveyed had a favorable opinion of their local law enforcement officers and over 85% believe that public safety officers care about the people and communities they serve. While support for local law enforcement officers is exceptionally strong across all demographic groups, the survey identified that 62% of African Americans surveyed had a favorable opinion of their officers, an area identified for improvement.
“We are extremely grateful for the high level of trust and support Americans have for their public safety officers, it is quite humbling, said Paul Kelly, President of UCOPS. “Yet we also know there are segments of our community that struggle to trust law enforcement and we are committed to improving how they feel.”
“We believe one barrier to improving trust is that for too long law enforcement leaders have remained silent when clearly over the line officer-involved shootings occurred, such as the tragic and unjustified shooting of Walter Scott in South Carolina,” Kelly continued. “As leaders, we should be among the voices calling for accountability when officer behavior breaks trust with our communities and tarnishes our profession.”
The survey also found that 85% believe that public safety officers care about the people and communities they serve. Eighty-two percent of those surveyed believe their local public safety officers are honest and trustworthy.
“In the coming months, UCOPS will host a national summit to bring together frontline officers, organizations, academics and solution-oriented community stakeholders to have a frank and constructive dialogue based upon understanding, healing, mutual respect and open communication to improve trust amongst all stakeholders committed to safe neighborhoods,” said Vincent J. Vallelong, Vice President of the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the New York Police Department.
“We want to hear directly from these stakeholders, and we also want them to hear directly from working police officers about our experiences and our perspectives on how we do our job and serve our community,” stated Mike Solan, President of the Seattle Police Officers Guild and UCOPS.