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Statewide police poll reveals mixed feelings

The Wisconsin Professional Police Association, or WPPA, revealed the results of their statewide poll today. The poll measures the public’s perspective on how well of a job local law enforcement are doing and also if Wisconsin residents approve of various policies.

The poll is in its sixth year of being conducted through the St. Norbert College Strategic Institute. The WPPA says this year’s poll is the most revealing one to date. WPPA says they were most surprised by the increase in approval for legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana. Thirty-nine percent agree that both should be legalized with only fifteen percent disapproving of any legalization of marijuana medical or otherwise.

A majority of Wisconsin residents indicated, for the sixth year in a row, that keeping the community safe from crime received the highest priority and support.

Jim Palmer, the executive director for the WPPA added that, "Being sensitive to the sentiments of the people we serve, we think is fundamentally important in the policies that we pursue. It’s also good for our members to, throughout the state, have a better understanding of how people feel on the issue of body cameras for example."

MORE INFORMATION: Wisconsin Professional Police Association

On the topic of body cameras, poll takers were asked whether they approve of the use of body cameras. Ninety-four percent approved, which is up ten percent from last years poll.

Nonetheless, the poll shows that there is room for improvement when it comes to policing in Wisconsin. Nearly half of all polled participants said that being a police officer nowadays is more dangerous now than it has ever been. Palmer said, "There is a communication break down. There are relationship issues between law enforcement and some of the communities they serve, particularly communities of color. So being able to have a better understanding of how people feel about law enforcement, we hope can help us bridge that divide."

Law enforcement agencies across the state continue to upgrade equipment to better serve their residents. This is something ninety-three percent of Wisconsinites approve of.


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