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public opinion on policing 2021 Trends

public opinion on policing 2021 Trends

Zencity is a best-in-class tool that helps
law enforcement agencies hear from all of the voices in their community while safe guarding privacy. Law enforcement professionals use Zencity to build trust, measure impact and improve community relationships based on real-time resident feedback.

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Between January - July 2021, Zencity analyzed data on American sentiment towards law enforcement and public safety from over 200 communities.

Here's what we found:


In which US regions are people most critical of their local PDs?
Americans’ discourse about
police has been most critical in The Midwestwith the highest negative sentiment and lowest positive sentiment. By contrast, discourse about police is most positive in the Southeast.

Sentiment Comparison by Region

Police Discourse

Midwest 21% negative 16% positive. Mountains Plains 12% negative 36% positive. Northeast 17% negative 20% positive. Southeast 10% negative 40% positive. West coast 15% negative 26% positive


PD community activities - what is more interesting? PD updates on police work

Want to boost engagement?
Break out the K9 team!

PD social media posts about personnel
and community activities see
more resident interaction than
updates on crime and police work.

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Are PDs' communications of covid-19 guidlines effective?
When it comes to public health, law enforcement agency communications around COVID account for the highest positive sentiment of any channel in city hall. They have been essential for updates around the enforcement of public health guidelines.
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All Covid-19 Conversations

Positive sentiment

Law enforcement agencies 36% vs. Average 12%


So far in 2021, online discourse about public safety has been 2.2X higher than public health.

Public safety 7M. Public health 3.2M


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Are most Americans for or against defunding the police?
Across most communities where ‘defund the police’ has been evident in the discourse, residents expressed agreement that some policy changes and reforms are needed, but opted to use existing police budgets to invest in such changes rather than take money away from the police.

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