Los Angeles police are riding a crest of goodwill that has pushed the department’s popularity to levels not sustained since the late 1980s as cops continue to post gains on fighting crime and building closer community ties, reports the Los Angeles Times. The strong endorsement of police cuts across racial and ethnic lines, according to a new Los Angeles Times Poll . The percentages of black and Latino voters who say they approve of how the police do their jobs is almost as high as the level among white voters. That result is notable given the long history of tensions between the police and local black and Latino communities.
The findings indicate that Police Chief William Bratton has made considerable progress on a centerpiece of his tenure — reinventing the image of the department in the eyes of the public and moving the department beyond a past marred by incidents of police brutality and corruption. Almost 8 in 10 registered voters said they “strongly approve” or “somewhat approve” of police performance. The response was 18 percentage points higher than in the Times’ last survey of the city, in 2005.