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THE TIMES POLL : Panel's Reforms for Police Strongly Backed

July 16, 1991|CATHLEEN DECKER | TIMES POLITICAL WRITER

Overall, the department was given an approval rating of 42%, virtually unchanged since April but higher than the 34% in March. While the disapproval rate was stuck at 52%, there were still some indications of public confidence in the police force.

Asked their impression of the LAPD's ability to hold down crime in their neighborhoods, respondents by a 2-1 margin endorsed the force's activities. Among blacks, the department's crime-fighting skills were approved by a 51-45 margin.

By a slighter margin, the department's efforts to reach out into the community were also sanctioned, by a 50%-40% margin. There were differences among racial groups: Anglos said the Police Department outreach efforts were effective, by a 53% to 34% margin. Among blacks, the efforts were judged ineffective, by a 42%-53% margin. And Latinos were evenly divided, with 48% saying the outreach attempts were favorable and the same percentage disagreeing.

How the Poll Was Conducted

The Times Poll interviewed 1,484 adult Los Angeles residents, by telephone, on July 11-14. Telephone numbers were generated from a list of all phone exchanges in the city. Random-digit dialing techniques were used to ensure that households with unlisted and listed telephone numbers had an opportunity to be contacted. Interviews were conducted in either English or Spanish. Oversampling techniques were used to produce larger-sized subsamples of blacks and Latinos for analysis, which were weighted to their proper proportions in the citywide sample. Results were adjusted slightly to conform with census figures for sex, race, age and household size. The margin of sampling error for percentages based on the total sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points. For certain subgroups the error margin is somewhat higher.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday July 17, 1991 Home Edition Part A Page 3 Column 2 Metro Desk 2 inches; 48 words Type of Material: Correction
Poll on Gates--A story on Monday incorrectly reported that Police Chief Daryl F. Gates received a 33% job approval rating in a Los Angeles Times Poll. That figure applies only to Gates' approval rating among Anglo residents. Gates' job approval rating among all city residents is 28%, a figure correctly reported at another point in the story.

Results on several questions in the poll are based on the sample of 1,216 respondents interviewed July 12-14. The margin of sampling error for percentages based on this sample is also plus or minus 3 points.

The Times Poll: The Christopher Commission, Daryl Gates and the LAPD

The Times Poll interviewed 1,484 adult residents in the City of Los Angeles, from July 11 to 14, 1991.

OPINIONS ABOUT CHRISTOPHER COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS:

Ensure minority/female officers equal job opportunities and promotions.

Approve strongly: 78%

Approve somewhat: 16%

Disapprove somewhat: 2%

Disapprove strongly: 2%

Dont know: 2%

Require periodic psychological testing for officers.

Approve strongly: 70%

Approve somewhat: 19%

Disapprove somewhat: 5%

Disapprove strongly: 4%

Dont know: 2%

Have Chief Gates step down after a transition period in which a new chief is found.

Approve strongly: 58%

Approve somewhat: 19%

Disapprove somewhat: 7%

Disapprove strongly: 12%

Dont know: 4%

Emphasize foot patrols and citizen involvement more, car patrols and simple crime control less.

Approve strongly: 63%

Approve somewhat: 21%

Disapprove somewhat: 7%

Disapprove strongly: 4%

Dont know: 5%

Limit chief to 5-year term, renewable for only one additional 5-year term.

Approve strongly: 63%

Approve somewhat: 18%

Disapprove somewhat: 5%

Disapprove strongly: 10%

Dont know: 4%

Let mayor appoint chief from Police Commission's candidate list, upon approval of City Council

Approve strongly: 41%

Approve somewhat: 26%

Disapprove somewhat: 9%

Disapprove strongly: 18%

Dont know: 6%

VIEWS ON SPECIAL ELECTION

* Do you approve or disapprove of holding a special election in November or December to vote on commission recommendations changing the way the city's Police Chief is chosen?

Approve strongly: 61%

Approve somewhat: 22%

Disapprove somewhat: 4%

Disapprove strongly: 7%

Dont know: 6%

VIEWS ON POLICE CHIEF GATES:

* Do you think Police Chief Daryl Gates should resign immediately, or should Gates step down after a transition period that would bring in a new Chief, or should Gates stay on as Police Chief?

Familiar Total Anglos Blacks Latinos with report* Resign immediately 37% 32% 61% 36% 40% Step down 41% 44% 29% 42% 41% Stay 17% 19% 6% 16% 16% Don't know 5% 5% 4% 6% 3%

* Do you think the Christopher Commission's report amounts to a condemnation of Police Chief Gates' leadership, or does it not amount to a condemnation of Gates' leadership or haven't you heard enough to say?

Familiar Total Anglos Blacks Latinos with report* Haven't heard enough 36% 21% 40% 53% 17% Condemnation 41% 50% 41% 31% 54% Not a condemnation 17% 22% 14% 12% 24% Don't know 6% 7% 5% 4% 5%

* Do you think the Christopher Commission recommendations can be implemented in a satisfactory way by Chief Gates or does Los Angeles need a new Police Chief to implement the Commission's recommendations?

Familiar Total Anglos Blacks Latinos with report* Police Chief Gates 22% 28% 7% 22% 22% New Police Chief 70% 63% 85% 73% 73% Don't know 8% 9% 8% 5% 5%

VIEWS ON POLICE

* When it comes to holding down crime, what is your impression of the LAPD's activities in your neighborhood?

Familiar Total Anglos Blacks Latinos with report* Very favorable 20% 26% 16% 16% 20% Somewhat favorable 45% 49% 35% 42% 48% Somewhat unfavorable 17% 14% 22% 20% 16% Very unfavorable 13% 6% 23% 17% 11% Don't know 5% 5% 4% 5% 5%

* When it comes to reaching out to the community, what is your impression of the LAPD's activities in your neighborhood?

Familiar Total Anglos Blacks Latinos with report* Very favorable 11% 15% 8% 8% 11% Somewhat favorable 40% 38% 34% 40% 37% Somewhat unfavorable 23% 22% 21% 28% 24% Very unfavorable 17% 12% 32% 18% 17% Don't know 9% 13% 5% 6% 11%

* Percentage of respondents who said they were familiar with the Christopher Commission report.

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