Poll: Salt Lake City Residents Give Police High Marks

Congratulations to the Salt Lake City Police Department – city residents overwhelmingly say you do a professional job.

There are many reasons Salt Lake won’t see the kind of riots that hit Baltimore over the weekend – not the least of which is the racial make-up of our city.

We simply don’t have many minorities in the city – although the city probably has more on a percentage basis than most other parts of Utah.

And the recent protests over police mistreatment – even killings – of young African-American men has seen race play a major part in the conflicts.

Still, a new UtahPolicy poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates finds that 75 percent of Salt Lake City voters who have had personal contact with a police officer over the last 12 months rank that encounter as “very professional,” or close to it.

While only 14 percent said their encounter with the cops was “not at all professional,” or close to it.

Those have to be high marks for any police corps, and one of which the city fathers should be proud.

On a scale of 1 to 5, Jones asked those who had personal contact with city police over the last year to rank how those officers behaved – 1 being “not at all professional” and 5 being “very professional.”

The 4 and 5 rankings add up to 75 percent. The 1 and 2 rankings add up 14 percent, and 11 percent gave it a 3, or in the middle.

The mean score, for those who actually understand some math, is 4, a very high rating in a 1-5 scale measurement.

Jones questioned 366 registered voters. Of those, 135 said they had had some face-to-face contact with a police officer in the last year.

With such a small sample, you won’t find many minorities in the pool.

And, in fact, there are only a few minorities when the question’s demographics are broken out.

Still, with only a few Hispanics or Latino questioned, one sees a difference, unfortunately for the police.

Fifty-six percent of Hispanics said the police were professional in their interaction, but 44 percent gave the cops a 1 or 2 unprofessional rating.

Remember, overall only 14 percent said the police were unprofessional – which includes the large sample of 118 white adults – who said that their interaction with the police was 73 percent professional, only 15 percent unprofessional.

City residents – it comes as no surprise – are law-abiding folks.

Out of the 366 registered voters polled, only 37 percent had even had a face-to-face interaction with police over the last 12 months – and that would include traffic stops.

About two-thirds said they had not even talked to a cop over the last year.

So, if you see a city police officer over the next few weeks, say hi. And thank them for doing such a good, professional job.