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Most Angelenos Support LAPD But Favor Reforms Like Community Policing, Unarmed Response

LAPD officers take a knee next to protestors gathered outside L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's house days after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. (Mike Roe/LAist)
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Nearly two-thirds of Angelenos believe the Los Angeles Police Department is serving and protecting their neighborhood, while community policing, Black Lives Matter, and the unarmed response model have also seen a marked increase in support.

Those were some of the key takeaways from a new survey of more than 1,700 residents by Loyola Marymount University's Study of LA Center aimed at gauging public opinion of the LAPD, according to the center’s founding director, Fernando Guerra. The survey comes during a turbulent year, with nationwide protests calling for racial justice and an end to police violence.

Guerra spoke with our local news and culture show Take Two:

“I think they’re looking at a police department that is changing with them — that they still believe there needs to be a police department, but they want to reimagine it in a new manner that looks like modern L.A. with its vision of how it sees itself and a new movement of transparency and collaboration.”

Some of the survey’s key findings were presented during today’s L.A. Police Commission meeting. They included the following:
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  • 71% of Angelenos believe that LAPD’s role should be to serve, protect and enforce the law
  • Two in three Angelenos believe LAPD is doing a good job maintaining public safety
  • About 88% of Angelenos support community policing
  • 78% support the Black Lives Matter Movement (up from 70% 2-3 years ago)
  • 82% show support for an unarmed model of LAPD

The survey also showed that opinions were split along racial and ethnic lines when it came to trust in LAPD to do what is right. While three in five Asian and White residents said they trust LAPD to do what is right, only one in three Black residents said they do. Moreover, the majority of Black residents said they don’t believe LAPD is serving and protecting their neighborhood or people like them.
And while just 47% of residents said they support proposals to defund the police, 62% said they support proposals to redirect some money from the police budget to local programs.



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