Only 30% of LA voters approve of LAPD’s overall performance: poll

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Only 30% of LA voters approve of LAPD's overall performance: poll

Only 30% of Los Angelenos approve of the Los Angeles Police Department’s performance – an even lower portion than after the 1991 beating of Rodney King, a new poll has revealed.

The survey of likely city voters found that 38% disapprove of the LAPD’s overall performance, compared to 32% who said they didn’t know or didn’t have an opinion, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

The figure is a huge drop from 2009, when a poll conducted by the newspaper found 77% of people approved of the LAPD under Chief William Bratton.

It’s also well below the 46% mark following the March 1991 beating of King that led to widespread protests in Los Angeles and beyond.

But the poll conducted by the Times and the UC Berkeley Institute of Government Studies found that more than 1,200 Los Angeles voters don’t want a smaller LAPD force, despite concerns over crime.

Of those polled, 20% approved of LAPD Chief Michel Moore’s job performance, compared to 30% who disapproved and half who said they had no opinion, the Times reported.

Some 47% of voters said the next mayor of Los Angeles should actually increase the number of police officers, while 17% said the department should keep the 9,400-member department and just 15% said it should be slashed.

A new survey found that only 30% of people in Los Angeles approve of the LAPD's performance.
A new survey found that only 30% of people in Los Angeles approve of the LAPD’s performance.
Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The front-runners to become the city’s next mayor — Democratic Rep. Karen Bass and Republican-turned-Democrat billionaire developer Rick Caruso — have shared opposing views of how they see the LAPD’s future, with Bass saying the department should be staffed to its authorized count of roughly 9,700. In contrast, Caruso has said he wants many more cops hired, the Times reported.

Forty-nine percent of respondents said Los Angeles would be better off if funds earmarked for police were diverted to other social services, while 33% said that would have a negative impact.

The poll’s findings highlight the “ambivalence and complication in how the public thinks about policing,” University of California-Berkeley political science professor Eric Schickler told the Los Angeles Times.

The approval rating is lower than the 46% mark found after the beating of Rodney King in 1991.
The approval rating is lower than the 46% mark found after the beating of Rodney King in 1991.
APEX / MEGA

The poll came as the nation’s second-largest city heads to the polls Tuesday. Twelve names are on the primary ballot, although several hopefuls have dropped out. The race is widely seen as a two-candidate fight between Bass and Caruso. If elected, Bass would become the first woman and second black person to hold the post.

If no candidate garners 50% of the vote, the top two finishers would advance to a November runoff. A poll released Monday found Bass leading the race at 38%, with Caruso close behind at 32%, KABC reported.

More than a third of those polled about the LAPD said crime was the biggest issue to them. Homicides and shootings in LA are currently at levels not seen for more than a decade before the coronavirus pandemic, while robberies have also surged, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A 2009 poll found that 77% of people approved of the LAPD's performance.
A 2009 poll found that 77% of people approved of the LAPD’s performance.
AP Photo/Richard Vogel

The survey — conducted May 24-31 online in both English and Spanish — has a margin of error of 3 percentage points, the Times reported.

Sharron Green, 35, of South Los Angeles, said she generally feels safe in her neighborhood until she encounters police officers.

“It does not make me more safe when cops are around with a black husband and three black sons,” Sharron Green, 35, of South Los Angeles, told the newspaper. “I really just feel uneasy.”

With Post wires

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