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New survey shows LA residents concerned, yet supportive of LAPD 

The relationship between people in our diverse Los Angeles communities and the Los Angeles Police Department has been a challenging one, hitting a height of discontent and distrust following the death of George Floyd in 2020.     

“That was a drastic moment when we took a look at public safety, the police, and things changed,” Professor Fernando Guerra, Loyola Marymount University, The Center for the Study of Los Angeles, said.    

Guerra is now the NBC4 Political Contributor and says their survey asked various questions related to how Angelenos feel about the city’s police department and its 9,000 sworn officers. The survey was commissioned by the LAPD.  

“We had complete 100% control and independence in doing the study and distributing the study,” Professor Guerra said.  

While the survey shows –satisfaction with the LAPD and Chief Michel Moore across all demographics and races, there remains dissatisfaction with long standing issues like racial profiling at traffic stops.     

“This cuts across not just minority communities, not just Black and Latino residents, but also White and Asian residents also express those concerns. And so, they want a strong LAPD, but they also want an accountable, equitable, and just LAPD,” Professor Guerra said.    

The I-Team went over the survey results with LAPD Chief Michel Moore.   

“So we’ve taken a look in the last five years, significantly, how we go about our traffic enforcement and what our patrols are actually doing and how they engage. We’ve moved away from quote, unquote, crime suppression where we would flood areas with high numbers of officers and essentially, they would be conducting traffic stops and investigative stops, sometimes on individuals that have underlying minor equipment violations but were repeatedly being stopped by officers,” Chief Moore told the I-Team.     

“We look at the respondents that actually participated, just over half had actually had a contact with a police officer recently. But of that, more than seven out of ten of those individuals found the contact to be positive. So there’s a lot of good news that came out of this. But again, it also identified that our Black community, for instance, is an area that still has the level of distrust,” Chief Moore added.     

This survey comes three years after calls to “Defund the Police” and creating alternative ways to handle public safety resonated across the country. 

In 2020, the then-Mayor reduced the police budget by $150 million dollars to re-invest in disadvantaged communities.  But this year, the city is now increasing officer salaries and looking to increase the size of the force.  

“When asking do you want to reallocate funds from LAPD for social services, for mental illness, for homelessness, there’s actually been an increase in the number of people who support that idea,” Professor Guerra said.     

Chief Moore says 911 call takers are currently diverting calls to mental health professionals, if for example, a person is contemplating suicide or is having a mental health crisis.    

Patricia Guerra is a Senior Director at Community Coalition. The organization has been around for three decades and is a part of the community in South LA.   

“Now it feels like we’re going backwards. And so we totally disagree with any more increases towards the police department,” she said.  

She says the community is still wary of the police department and the role of the LAPD in our communities needs to change.   

“We believe that instead of funding the police, that we should be funding affordable housing, that we should be funding programs for children, for young people, that we should be building like childcare centers, senior centers.” 

Future decisions that could be influenced by the results of the survey.  

“I’m proud of this organization, I also recognize that we fall short and we’ll do our best. This is a work in progress,” Chief Moore said.      

The full study by LMU will be released to the public on Tuesday afternoon. 

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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