March 24, 2016 | By Karl Friedhoff

NYPD Union Takes to the Polls


New York Police Department graduates attend an induction ceremony at Madison Square Garden in New York. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Public opinion surveys on the attitudes of private citizens towards the police are fairly common (See: AEI, Gallup, Pew). But it is comparatively rare that the surveys are reversed, asking police about their opinions on the state of their profession and working environment. If such internal surveys are conducted it seems even rarer for them to be publicly released, especially in what must be trying times for police departments around the country. With that in mind, in steps New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (NYCPBA) with its membership study. And as one might have guessed, the outlook of the officers surveyed is not rosy. 
  • Ninety-two percent of the respondents say support for the police has decreased during the de Blasio administration, when compared to past administrations.
  • Ninety-five percent of the respondents said New York City is heading down the wrong track.
  • Eighty-seven percent said New York City has become “less safe” in the past two years.
     
You can read the rest on your own at the link provided above, or you can view the full cross tabs here.

It would be useful to have comparable points from other cities, but it is not clear they exist. Both Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police and the Los Angeles Police Protective League—the unions for the officers of the respective cities—said they did not have such surveys when reached via telephone.

What little work there has been done on this has been carried out by the National Police Research Platform funded by the National Institute of Justice. But the funding on that project seems to have ended in 2014, and the data it does provide is reported only in aggregate.

At a time when the spotlight is on policing around the country, it would be great to have more comprehensive data, including from the perspective of the officers. But for the time being, that data does not seem to exist. Perhaps the release of the data by the NYCPBA will start a trend.

About

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs highlights critical shifts in American public thinking on US foreign policy through public opinion surveys and research conducted under the Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy. 

The annual Chicago Council Survey, first conducted in 1974, is a valuable resource for policymakers, academics, media, and the general public. The Council also surveys American leaders in government, business, academia, think tanks, and religious organizations biennially to compare trends in their thinking with overall trends. And collaborating with partner organizations, the survey team periodically conducts parallel surveys of public opinion in other regions of the world to compare with US public opinion. 

The Running Numbers blog features regular commentary and analysis from the Council’s public opinion and US foreign policy research team, including a series of flash polls of a select group of foreign policy experts to assess their opinions on critical foreign policy topics driving the news.

Archive


| By Dina Smeltz, Karl Friedhoff

On Terrorism, Americans See No End in Sight

The June 10-27 Chicago Council Survey finds that the American public considers international terrorism to be the most critical threat facing the nation. In combating terrorism Americans say that almost all options should be on the table, yet a large majority expect that occasional acts of terror will be a part of life in the future.


| By Dina Smeltz, Craig Kafura

Americans Support Limited Military Action in Syria

The 2016 Chicago Council Survey, conducted June 10-27, reveals that Americans across partisan lines support limited military actions in Syria that combine air strikes and the use of Special Operations Forces. There are deep partisan divides on accepting Syrian refugees, and widespread skepticism toward arming anti-government groups or negotiating a deal that would leave President Assad in power. 



| By Dina Smeltz, Karl Friedhoff, Craig Kafura

Republicans Back Trump, but Not All of his Policies

If the general election were held today, a solid majority of Republicans (including self-described Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents) say they would vote for Mr. Trump in the presidential contest against Secretary Clinton. But Donald Trump was not the top choice for many Republicans among the full field of primary candidates. While eventually deciding to back Trump, those who were hoping for a different nominee are not endorsing some of Trump’s key positions.


| By Karl Friedhoff

Flare-ups in Taiwan-China Relations Here to Stay

The China-Taiwan relationship may be due for flare-ups in the coming years, and China's recent decision to suspend diplomatic contact with Taiwan could set the tone for the short-term direction of cross-strait relations. But polling suggests that the Taiwanese public prefers a pragmatic approach to relations with China, limiting the publicly palatable options facing Taiwan's President Tsai, Karl Friedhoff writes.


Nuclear Energy: Americans Favor Stagnation

How do Americans feel about nuclear energy? From Chernobyl to Homer Simpson, nuclear energy doesn’t have a stunning reputation, but until recently polls showed a majority of Americans favor its use for energy. In fact it appears that support for nuclear energy is linked with energy availability and that Americans would rather develop other energy sources.






The British Debate on Nuclear Disarmament

Last month the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, a UK group founded in 1958, held its largest rally since 1983. Yet disarmament remains unpopular amongst the general public. 



| By Karl Friedhoff

NYPD Union Takes to the Polls

Karl Friedhoff looks at a survey conducted by the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, which finds high levels of dissatisfaction among its members. But publicly available surveys of officers appear to be rare.

| By Craig Kafura

O Canada! Public Opinion and the US-Canada Relationship

Canada’s newly-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, son of former Canadian PM Pierre Trudeau, recently enjoyed a successful state visit to the United States. While Canadian prime ministers don’t visit the United States as frequently as they used to, that doesn’t mean American enthusiasm for Canada has flagged.