Poll: Philadelphians Highly Respect Police, Support Stop-and-Frisk

Mar 23, 2011

new poll by the Pew Philadelphia Research Initiative finds that Philadelphians have considerable respect for city police and that most residents support Mayor Nutter's stop-and-frisk policy, but some question how it is used.

Key Findings

Seventy percent of Philadelphians say they have considerable respect for the police. Among those who have had recent contact with local officers, three-fourths report having been treated with courtesy, fairness and professionalism.
In addition, by a 2-1 ratio, city residents support Mayor Michael Nutter’s stop-and-frisk policy, which allows officers to stop individuals they suspect are involved in criminal activity— and to pat them down for weapons.

But when Philadelphians are asked whether they trust police to show good judgment in using stop and frisk, support dwindles for the men and women in blue. Forty-three percent say they have faith in officers’ judgment while 31 percent do not. And pluralities of both African Americans and young people say they do not trust the Philadelphia police to enforce the policy wisely.

These are some of the findings from a poll of 1,604 city residents conducted for The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia Research Initiative between January 31 and February 13 of this year.

By a wide margin, residents cite crime most often when asked to name one or two things they like least about living in Philadelphia. But the percentage of residents mentioning crime is substantially lower this year (29 percent) than it was two years ago (45 percent).

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