Los Angeles residents largely approve of their police department and feel that LAPD officers do a good job protecting their communities, but they also support the Black Lives Matter movement and want to see some police funding shifted to alternative social services, according to a survey conducted by Loyola Marymount University.
While a majority of respondents opposed abolishing or “defunding” the Los Angeles Police Department entirely, they strongly backed the idea of dispatching trained crisis response specialists on calls involving mental health crises, substance abuse and homelessness — either in lieu of armed police officers or alongside them, the survey found.
“Clearly there is some significant support for redirecting some of the budget away from LAPD,” Fernando Guerra, director of the university’s Study LA research center, told the Police Commission during a virtual meeting Tuesday. “Their gut instinct is that something of this nature has to happen.”
Guerra said the results showed that “Angelenos want a new way of thinking about public safety that is very different from what it was” decades ago.
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