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2019 WI Law Enforcement Survey Offers Insight

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – The Wisconsin Professional Police Association (WPPA) conducted a survey this spring, interviewing 400 randomly selected Wisconsin residents to learn how Wisconsinites feel about law enforcement issues.

Some heavy topics were covered in the questions, including body camera approval, illegal immigration variables, and multiple takes on officer-involved shootings.

The association says there are large misconceptions when it comes to the details surrounding fatal officer-involved shoot outs.

“It’s clear that there’s a significant proportion of people that think individuals shot by police are minorities and in fact, that’s not the case. There’s [also] clearly a proportion of people that don’t realize how many of the people that are shot by officers are armed,” WPPA  Executive Director Jim Palmer said.

In 2018, 92% of people fatally shot in Wisconsin were armed. In 2017, 100% were armed.

Breaking down the demographics of 2018 officer-involved shootings, the survey showed 52% of people shot by a cop last year were white, 32% were black, 12% were Native American, and 4% were Asian.

Despite the long list of controversial topics to cover, the WPPA says one of the most important takeaways was the public perception of police.

“Public approval of law enforcement officers in Wisconsin is very high. We think that’s a very important thing to share not only with our officers but with the public as well because this is a challenging era for police officers around the country and in Wisconsin,” Palmer said.

Survey results said 48% of Wisconsin’s white residents “strongly approve” of their local police. The survey said only 28% of Wisconsin’s non-white residents “strongly approve”.

Read the full survey results here.

Amber Meyer

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