Voters Want Cops To Focus On Murder And Leave Mental Health Calls To Others: Poll

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According to a new survey, law enforcement agencies should allocate “significant” resources to solving serious crimes such as murders and allowing non-police officers to deal with mental health emergencies.

About 78 percent of a national poll of 1,311 likely voters fully agreed or agreed that “police departments should devote a significant portion of their internal resources to investigating and solving the most serious crimes, such as shootings and murders,” Safer Cities reported who conducted the survey.

Almost as many (71 percent) agreed that “the best way to enable police to focus on the most serious crimes is to use the expertise of non-police professionals; For example, behavioral health professionals should respond to most calls related to mental health and homelessness. “

“Our results make it clear that voters expect their city guides to give top priority to solving more shootings and murders,” said Safer Cities, summarizing the results. “It is important that the voters have a internally Recalibration of police resources.

“Indeed, voters want more no fewer resources for public safety programs and services that run alongside traditional law enforcement. “

The survey authors said their results should educate city and county policymakers on how police “legitimacy” can be strengthened.

“The gap between the way the police spend their time and the likelihood that voters should spend their time creates an impending legitimacy crisis for law enforcement,” argued Safer Cities’ Matt Ferner in his executive summary of the report.

Compared to the high percentage of respondents who want police to focus on murders and serious crime, only 18 percent thought responding to traffic violations was an important role for law enforcement, and only 27 percent thought that homelessness and mental health problems should be a priority for the police.

Safer Cities is a research think tank that describes its goals as “helping journalists, officials and lawyers get through the noise of a national crime discourse that is often confusing and misleading”.

The sample was weighted to be representative of likely voters based on age, gender, education, race, and electoral history. The error rate is ± 3 percentage points.

To download the full survey and tables, please click here.


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