Police and Community Relations Survey

In the wake of nationwide demonstrations for racial justice prompted by the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and countless other Black individuals, Los Angeles has become a focal point for critical discussions around police and community relations.

StudyLA's 2020 Police and Community Relations Survey focuses on the attitudes and opinions of city of Los Angeles residents toward the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) following this period of nationwide demonstrations. Residents were asked a range of questions to measure public opinion toward policing. Specifically, we gauge how residents feel that the LAPD is doing with respect to the many facets of its mission: to safeguard the lives and property of the people the LAPD serves, to reduce the incidence and fear of crime, and to enhance public safety while working with the diverse communities to improve quality of life. 

About this Study

In Fall 2020, StudyLA conducted the 2020 Police and Community Relations Survey to measure public opinion toward policing in Los Angeles with questions on topics such as trust in the police, community engagement efforts by the local police, race relations, and personal experiences with the police.

Methodology

To develop questions and select themes that reflected the interests of residents, StudyLA held focus groups and one-on-one conversations with 99 individuals from a variety of backgrounds, from activism to academia, non-profit organizations to neighborhood councils.
The survey involved 20-minute telephone interviews, online surveys, and face-to-face interviews with 1,753 adults living in the city of Los Angeles. A minimum of 400 residents from each of the four LAPD command areas, referred to as bureaus, were surveyed. Data collection took place from August 21 to October 25, 2020. The survey was administered in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Korean. The margin of error is ±2.5%.
More on the methodology for this study can be found in the data brief.

Data

The presentation, report, and data brief are available here:

2020 Police and Community Relations Survey – Presentation

2020 Police and Community Relations Survey – Presentation – Breakdowns by Race & Ethnicity

Public Opinion on Policing in Los Angeles – Report
Guerra, Fernando J.; Gilbert, Brianne; Vizireanu, Mariya; Dunsker, Max; & Alarcon, Alejandra (2020). Public Opinion on Policing in Los Angeles. Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California.

2020 Police and Community Relations Survey – Data Brief
Guerra, Fernando J.; Gilbert, Brianne; Vizireanu, Mariya; & Dunsker, Max (2020). Police Data Brief: 2020 Police and Community Relations Survey. Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California.

StudyLA researchers are available to discuss this survey. For questions about this and other StudyLA research, please contact Associate Director Brianne Gilbert at brianne.gilbert@lmu.edu

Policing Los Angeles Forum

On Tuesday, December 8, StudyLA's Brianne Gilbert presented this research at the Loyola Law School Policing Los Angeles Forum virtual event, What Do Angelenos Think of the LAPD?

Learn more about the Policing Los Angeles Forum here. Watch the event recording here

Public Opinion on Policing in Los Angeles – LMU Community Event

On Friday, December 11, StudyLA researchers were joined by Dr. Chaya Crowder and the Black Political Science and International Relations Student Committee to discuss this research and underscore the meaningful differences in attitudes and opinions by race and ethnicity. 

Miriam Admasu '21, Simone Butler '22, Bethlehem Gebeyehu '22, Mikayla Gingrey-Osborne '21, Jillian Porter '21, Denay Smith '22, Malia Thornton '22, Lauryn Vaughn '22, and Rickelle Williams '22 presented their original research findings.

Learn more about the 2020-21 Bellarmine Forum here. Watch the event recording here.

Media 

Press Release: Angelenos Back Dramatic Reforms to Police Operations, Split on Trust in LAPD, LMU Survey Finds

January 4, 2020 | Los Angeles Times
Despite layoff threat, LAPD officers reject plan to raise $10 million for union war chest
David Zahniser, Richard Winton

December 27, 2020 | NBC Los Angeles, NewsConference
Angelenos Want a New LAPD, Study Finds

December 16, 2020 | Fox News
Los Angeles police union targeting council members with billboards amid talk of budget cuts
Louis Casiano

December 15, 2020 | Los Angeles Times
LAPD union seeks to raise $10 million to fight layoffs and help political allies in 2022
David Zahniser, Richard Winton

December 14, 2020 | KNOCK LA
Loyola Marymount Study of Angelenos Finds Wide Support for “Bigger and Broader Changes” to Policing
Alex McElvain

December 12, 2020 | LA Progressive
Garcetti, Where’s The Money?
Dahlia Ferlito

December 8, 2020 | Los Angeles Times
Survey finds many Angelenos approve of the LAPD, but also want some funding shifted
Kevin Rector

December 8, 2020 | 89.3 KPCC, Take Two
Can The CA Notify App Stop the Spread?, How Does the Public Really Feel About LAPD?, Can Ditching Gas Stoves Help Fight Climate Change? Activists Push for All-Electric Homes

December 8, 2020 | LAist
Most Angelenos Support LAPD But Favor Reforms Like Community Policing, Unarmed Response
Marina Peña and Monica Bushman

December 8, 2020 | CBS Los Angeles
Survey Shows 30 Percent of Black Citizens Don’t Trust LAPD To “Do What’s Right”

December 8, 2020 | Long Beach Press-Telegram
Residents offer divided opinions in survey of their trust of LAPD
Emily Rasmussen