Majority says well-funded police force improves quality of life according to public perception survey

Wisconsin Professional Police Association
Wisconsin Professional Police Association(Wisconsin Professional Police Association)
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 9:13 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) - The Wisconsin Professional Police Association has released the results of its public perception survey.


The poll was conducted by the St. Norbert Strategic Research Institute. It sampled a thousand Wisconsin residents in an effort a better understand the communities WPPA serves. People were polled on topics ranging from police reform, racism, funding, and public safety questions. The WPPA remains the only law enforcement organization in the nation that produces an annual survey and shares it publicly.

Key findings of the poll include:

  • 79% strongly or somewhat approve of how ‘your local police force is handling its job’.
  • ‘Keeping the community safe from crime’ was identified as the top priority for state and local governments, with no significant differences by demographics.
  • 80% agree that ‘having a well-funded police force improves quality of life in their community’ and 93% agree that a ‘well-trained police force makes their community safer’.
  • A majority of the public (59%) support increasing local taxes to pay for specially-trained mental health officers and the same proportion favors new local taxes to pay for body worn cameras.
  • 60% of minorities consider equipping officers with body-worn cameras an immediate priority, compared to 44% of whites.
  • Only 35% of minorities agreed that most of the individuals fatally shot by police officers in Wisconsin last year were armed. Data compiled by the WPPA demonstrates that 100% of the fatal police shootings involved armed individuals.
  • 87% of the public agrees that there should stronger penalties for people that destroy property during protests.

“This survey comes on the heels of one of the most traumatic and divisive years in our nation’s history and we conduct it out of a genuine desire to better understand the communities we serve and a commitment to be part of the solution to the problems that we collectively face as a state,” said Jim Palmer, executive director of WPPA.

It’s the ninth year the survey has been conducted.

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