[Ed. – I’d say there’s a complex dynamic at work here. The sentiments recorded in 2005 were real, and I think reflected the increasing militarization of police, which has been going on for some time now. In 2016, I don’t think survey respondents are saying they’re fine with militarized police now; I think they’re saying they support the police and the job they’re chartered to do, and are indignant about the way police are being politically targeted for doing what they SHOULD do. There’s a lot to unwind here.]
The percentage of Americans who say they have a “great deal” of respect for the police in their area has climbed to 76 percent—just one percentage point shy of the all-time high of 77 percent recorded 49 years ago, according to a Gallup poll released today.
Respect for the police has increased over the past year among Americans of differing racial groups, ideologies, political affiliations and age, according to data published in a Gallup analysis. …
In the nine times that Gallup has asked the question, respect for the police hit its all-time low in 2005. In a survey conducted October 13-16 of that year, 56 percent said they had a great deal of respect for the police, 33 percent said some, and 11 percent said hardly any.
In the past twelve months, the percentage of people saying they have a great deal of respect for the police has jumped by 12 percentage points.