Survey Shows Broad Support for Narrower and More Tailored Role for LAPD
LOS ANGELES – Westsiders strongly favor narrowing the scope of LAPD responsibilities and support reimagining how the City of Los Angeles keeps our neighborhoods safe, according to the results of a survey released today by Councilmember Mike Bonin.
The online survey, promoted via email and social media from June 11-17, found that Westsiders prefer alternatives to an armed, uniformed response to a range of issues and situations. While a majority of the 2,672 respondents from Council District 11 favor an LAPD response to violent crimes and to property crimes in progress, residents overwhelmingly prefer non-LAPD responses to most other situations for which police officers are routinely called.
Instead of a police response, Westside neighbors said mental health professionals should be called on to respond to mental health episodes, social workers should respond to calls about homelessness and homeless encampments, trained mediators or unarmed security should respond to neighborhood disputes, and volunteers or trained civilians should enforce social distancing and public health rules. By large margins, Westsiders said they prefer police officers not be responsible for crowd control at large public events, and they also rejected an armed presence at parks, in schools, or on public transit.
Bonin’s survey comes amid widespread public calls for a new and better approach to keeping our neighborhoods safe, springing from nationwide protests against police brutality and law enforcement’s treatment of people of color, especially African-Americans. It also coincides with Bonin’s push for reconsideration of a city budget that makes deep cuts in city services, including emergency management and public safety programs, while dramatically increasing the LAPD budget.
“The City’s traditional approach of cutting neighborhood services, increasing police budgets, and relying on a police solution to every problem is broken and is causing harm,” Bonin said. “The people of Los Angeles are way ahead of city government in reimagining public safety. They want alternatives that resolve conflicts, address the root causes of problems, and deconstruct systemic racism.”
Bonin’s survey found similar sentiment to that of a citywide survey conducted by a coalition of community groups, led by Black Lives Matter Los Angeles. More than 20,000 Angelenos, including 1600 residents of Council District 11, responded to that survey, overwhelmingly supporting a “People’s Budget,” which calls for defunding the Los Angeles Police Department, and focusing on investments in people, neighborhoods and city services.
While respondents to Bonin’s survey continue to support an LAPD response to violent crimes, burglaries, car theft, public drug sales and trespassing, they echo widespread calls for a vastly different approach to policing. Westsiders say armed police officers should not be deployed to respond to calls about vandalism, graffiti, large parties, domestic disturbances, child abuse, off-leash dogs, leaf blowers, and a range of other issues. They also support relying on unarmed traffic officers to enforce speed limits and other moving violations, and support using civilian personnel to take reports of automobile collisions and stolen property.
“The results of this survey show that people know we must make better, smarter investments in keeping people and our neighborhoods safe. We are in a rare moment when we can look clearly at our budget and decide to provide more and better public safety, public health, and emergency response by spending more on people and neighborhoods and less on LAPD and an armed response to every situation.”
A summary of results can be found below.
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PUBLIC SAFETY SURVEY RESULTS SUMMARY
Survey launched June 11, 2020
Results as of noon on June 17, 2020
Take the Survey
All charts below include only responses from the 2,672 respondents who indicated they live in Council District 11.