By: Ted Dabrowski, John Klingner and Julie Schmidt

While Chicagoans share many concerns over the city’s policing practices, 79% want the police to spend the same amount of time or more in their neighborhoods. That’s one of the key findings of a new Wirepoints/Real Clear Opinion Research poll that looked at a range of attitudes in Chicago on policing, race and Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s performance.

The desire for more police holds true across the city’s North (76%), South (80%) and West Sides (85%), as well as across whites (79%), blacks (77%) and Hispanics (87%).

Only 15% of blacks and 10% of Hispanics citywide said they want the police to spend less time in their neighborhoods.

The Wirepoints/RCOR poll surveyed 895 registered voters in Chicago from September 26th through October 4th using a mixed phone and online methodology. The margin of error is +/- 3.28 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

Although Chicagoans overwhelmingly indicated they want more police, they were also very clear in their desire for better-quality policing. Half (51%) of all Chicagoans polled said they believe the Chicago Police Department is currently handling its job badly. More than six out of ten black residents (63%) held that view.

More than a third (35%) of all respondents felt they would not be treated respectfully in an encounter with police, a percentage that jumps to 54% among black residents.

The polling also finds that while 61% of residents approve of the job that Mayor Lightfoot is doing, some of her lowest issue performance ratings come in how she is dealing with police reform, gun violence and violent crime.

Chicagoans support both BLM and more policing

George Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests expanded the influence of Black Lives Matter across the country, including in Chicago. Unsurprisingly, more than three-quarters (76%) of surveyed Chicagoans reported they strongly support or somewhat support BLM. Black Chicagoans maintained the highest support for BLM (86%), followed by whites (74%) and then Hispanics (61%). Geographically, South Side support of BLM is the highest (83%).

But when Chicagoans were asked directly if they support defunding the police, only 39% said they were in favor, while 51% were opposed. Opposition to defunding exceeded support in every region, with North Side residents expressing the most opposition (57% oppose / 36% support).

Along racial/ethnic lines, opposition exceeded support slightly among blacks (46% oppose / 45% support) and most strongly among Hispanics (55% oppose / 30% support).

The support for BLM has also failed to translate into political support for wholly disbanding the CPD. Only 26% of Chicagoans polled would be more likely to vote for city council members that support disbanding the police, while 37% would be less likely to vote for them. Even fewer South Siders (21%) would be more likely to vote for members supporting disbanding.

By race, whites and Hispanics were most opposed to politicians supporting disbanding the CPD, with 43% and 41% saying they would be less likely to vote for a council member that pushed disbanding, respectively. Black residents were at 27%.

Instead of less police presence, most Chicagoans polled want more officers on the street. A vast majority (79%) of voters indicated they wanted police to spend more or the same amount time in their neighborhood.

The desire for additional policing was strongest on the South and West Sides, with more than half (57%) of residents in both areas wanting more police presence in their neighborhoods despite their concerns about current CPD practices. The number of Chicagoans polled who want police to spend less time amounted to less than 15% of those surveyed. On the West Side, only 9% of those polled wanted less police.

Chicagoans want better-quality policing

When questioned on a variety of topics, including job performance, systemic racism, police behavior, general safety and more, a majority or sizable minority of Chicagoans showed they have negative opinions of and/or have suffered negative encounters with Chicago officers.

Chicagoans’ overall negative rating of the CPD (51%) varied widely by geography. More than half of citizens from the North Side (54%) and the West Side (51%) said the CPD was doing a good or excellent job, while only 32% of voters from the South Side said the same.

When asked what needs to be reformed in the department, systemic racism or a few bad apples, nearly half of all those polled (45%) chose systemic racism. Hispanic residents were least likely to say systemic racism (33%) while black residents were the most likely (57%).

When asked how they thought they would be treated by officers, more than a third of Chicagoans (35%) said they were not very or not at all confident they would be treated with courtesy and respect. And in a similar vein, one in five of those surveyed (19%) said that seeing a police officer made them feel less safe.

In summary, while white and Hispanics ultimately have a mixed view of the city’s police force, black residents report more negative opinions/experiences:

  • 63% of black residents think the Chicago Police Department is handling its job badly, while only 48% of Hispanics and 39% of whites feel the same way. 
  • More than half (57%) believe reforms should focus on systemic racism in the Chicago Police Department, while only 33% of Hispanics and 41% of whites believe the same.
  • More than half (54%) aren’t confident they’ll be treated with courtesy and respect by officers, while only 38% of Hispanics and 16% of whites aren’t confident.
  • Nearly a third (31%) of blacks feel less safe in the presence of an officer, while only 11% of Hispanics and 13% of whites feel less safe. 

Mayor Lightfoot has her work cut out for her on race and public safety

Of the 61% of respondents who approve of the job Mayor Lightfoot is doing, Chicago’s white residents gave her the highest marks (68%), followed by blacks (63%) and then Hispanics (48%).

Her biggest support came from the West Side, where 69% of responders approved of her performance. South Side residents favored her performance the least, giving an approval rating of 57%.

On individual issues, Mayor Lightfoot achieved her best ratings on her handling of the Coronavirus (58% excellent or good; 39% not so good or poor) and economic development (50% excellent or good; 37% not so good or poor). However, her ratings on those related to race relations and public safety are lower.

Lightfoot’s handling of public safety has an approval rating of 46%. Her overall approval on racial justice is 44%. On police reform, 39%. And just 31% on gun violence.

Her lowest approval ratings come from black Chicagoans. Just 26% approve of the way the mayor is handling both violent crime and gun violence.

Note: Some poll numbers in this report may not add due to rounding.

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Sir Tom of Northfield
20 days ago

In Chicago of the 1950s they gave bums $2 “walkin’ around money” and a pint of wine for a vote. No report on what they gave the corpses. The last Republican Mayor of Chicago left office in 1923. For 97 years the Democrats have run Chicago. “Hey, how we doin’?”  It has turned into a world-class murder capital and is de facto bankrupt. Democrats have the reverse-Midas-touch. They are a perfect blend of Corruption and Incompetence. And yet the ignorant morons keep voting for them. Go figure. 

Poor Taxpayer
24 days ago

BLM.
Let the suburban whites go to restaurants and risk Covid.
Never believe whites are smarter than anyone else.

Chase Gioberti
23 days ago
Reply to  Poor Taxpayer

I thought you guys were into the data and the science.

The data says blacks and hispanics are a standard deviation below whites and Asians.

Facts are sometimes painful.

Poor Taxpayer
25 days ago

When the cops do not do their jobs it pays the same.
So why do what you get paid for?

Eddie
23 days ago
Reply to  Poor Taxpayer

The cops aren’t allowed to do their jobs. ☹️

George P. Burdell
25 days ago

I’m sorry. What was the point of this?

Susan
25 days ago

According to Wikipedia, in 2017 the Chicago police department had 21% African American officers.
US Census Quick facts 2019 puts Chicago population at 30% African American, with Illinois at 14.6%.
BLS indicates that Illinois State jobs are 25% held by African Americans, who comprise 12.5% of Illinois workforce.

Marketwizard
25 days ago

We do not need to defund the police, we need to defund the politicians that make the laws that the police are forced to enforce. The “War On Drugs” is a prime example which is nothing but prohibition which Chicago has a rich history, Every time throughout history that you have contraband with a huge profit margin you get the exact same results of violence and murder. The real issue is the politicians have turned the general public into milk cows and a subject that nobody seems to want to discuss.

Riverbender
25 days ago

From the above “… polling also finds that while 61% of residents approve of the job that Mayor Lightfoot is doing,” says a lot about the Chicago situation. With that approval rating nothing will change so perhaps ignoring the situation there is in order.

LessonLearned
25 days ago
Reply to  Riverbender

Yup. That pretty well sums it up. Only solution is to vacate.

Defund Democraps
21 days ago
Reply to  Riverbender

More fake polling. MSM has got to go.

anonymous
25 days ago

She is a failure but thankful I do not live there.
Know people who do and they are leaving as fast as they can

REDWAVE
25 days ago

She got a 50% approval on economic development! Who…what?

Defund Democraps
21 days ago
Reply to  REDWAVE

Fake. Just like democrat voters

Mike
25 days ago

Is there an estimated margin of error?

Mike
25 days ago
Reply to  Mike

The estimated margin of error is in the Poll Topline attachment.

Credibility Interval: +/- 3.28 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

Poor Taxpayer
25 days ago

BLM.
Shoot a unarmed black man and collect overtime pay that will spike your pension.
Does not get any better than this.

Mike
25 days ago
Reply to  Poor Taxpayer

Shoot a police officer who is trying to protect the public.

Does not get any better than this.

There is misconduct and unacceptable occurrences in any profession.

Joey Zamboni
25 days ago
Reply to  Poor Taxpayer

As evidenced by the hundreds of police shootings in Chicago in 2020….?

Oh, wait…

That didn’t happen…

You should get a job with the *Lefty Painting Co.*…

They paint with a broad brush too…

Fed up neighbor
25 days ago
Reply to  Poor Taxpayer

Whois this asshole

DixonSyder
16 days ago

He’s been one since I started visiting this site. He’s becoming a bigger one everytime he posts the babble that he posts.

charlie says
25 days ago
Reply to  Poor Taxpayer

a true know nothing overtime has no affect on ur pension try to keep up genius guess the job at the dollar store isnt as fulling as u thought

Freddy
25 days ago

Good article. What I don’t understand is why is it that every time there is a shooting in a black neighborhood the officers who respond are mostly white . If you freeze the picture on TV anywhere in the country count how many police are white vs black or hispanic in any shooting incident. The majority are white. Would more black officers or whatever race in a particular neighborhood be able to diffuse the situation before shots are fired? If not they could call in backup. Is it that difficult to find qualified African Americans to be policeman? Maybe police… Read more »

CHARLOTTE AINES
25 days ago
Reply to  Freddy

Eighty percent of success is showing up. How you going to get blacks to be police officers if they can’t even ” show up” being responsible fathers. Let’s start with getting more intact families and Stop with the just more mentoring BS

Juicy Smollier
25 days ago

To do that you’d have to incentivize men and families, and discourage women from being sluts/single moms. We’ve already had 40 years of that anti-family agenda. No welfare for women would require them to make good choices or suffer REAL consequences.

Defund Democraps
21 days ago
Reply to  Juicy Smollier

And the fact that it takes two incomes to support a family these days.

Herb Caplan
26 days ago

The conduct of police is often motivated by justified fear of being killed in performance of their duty and a heightened justified need to be self-protective, especially in high crime neighborhoods and the early release of known repeat criminals back into their neighborhoods. This explains both the pro-police and anti-police positions being voiced. Justice would be advanced is this was allowed to be a legal issue and not converted into a crass political issue to undermine law enforcement and create opportunities for criminals just waiting for cover to riot, loot and kill.

Juicy Smollier
25 days ago
Reply to  Herb Caplan

Your cousins in the media sadly promote this destabilization, marxist agenda based on race.