New Mexico Residents say Police Officers are the 5th most trusted among 15 people and professions included in the 2020 Garrity Perception Survey

Albuquerque, NM. – New Mexico residents trust police officers, a trend that has been building since 2014 and the aftermath of isolated incidents throughout the state that created a crisis of confidence in the profession.  According to the 2020 Garrity Perception Survey (GPS), conducted in January 2020, 58 percent of residents trust police officers, 22 percent are undecided and only 18 percent distrust police officers. Compared to the fifteen professions identified in the annual survey, Police Officers are the fifth most trusted people/profession.

“Family members, teachers, doctors and scientists are the people and professions New Mexico residents trust, followed by police officers and religious leaders,” says Tom Garrity, president of The Garrity Group Public Relations. “These professions with greater than 50 percent trust are in an enviable position of sharing information about their profession without having to explain or clarify perceptions. The tragic police killings in Minnesota and Georgia have flipped that narrative creating a referendum on everyone in the law enforcement profession.”

While New Mexico residents trust police officers, the trust varies based on geography.  Residents living in Northwest and the Santa Fe/North Central region have a higher level of trust than those living in Las Cruces/Southwest New Mexico.

Residents who have lived in New Mexico for less than 8 years and those who have lived in New Mexico more than 20 years have a higher level of trust (60 percent) than people living in the state for 8 to 20 years (54 percent).

New Mexican’s 65 years or older have the highest level of trust (69 percent) in police officers and those between 35-49 years (48 percent) have the lowest level of trust in police officers.

Starting in 2012 and culminating in 2014, there were a number of high profile incidents involving law enforcement throughout New Mexico that negatively impacted trust of police officers.

Since 2014 a number of law enforcement entities, led by the Albuquerque Police Department, refocused communication and outreach on the communities, providing more transparency about their profession.  Specifically, the Department of Justice investigated APD and eventually reached a settlement agreement with the City of Albuquerque.

“The process of reaching the agreement resulted in a variety of departmental changes which eventually helped to increase trust in the profession,” Garrity says. In the six years that followed Albuquerque residents have increased their trust of police officers by 23 percent. Compared to other parts of the state, residents in the Santa Fe/North Central region increased trust by 41percent, residents in Northwest New Mexico increased trust by 31 percent. Over that same time period, residents in Eastern New Mexico increased trust by ten percent and people living in Las Cruces/Southwest increased trust of police officers by seven percent.

About the Garrity Perception Survey and P.A.C.E.

The 2020 Garrity Perception Survey is a scientific survey of New Mexico residents conducted by Research & Polling Inc. The survey has a 95% level of confidence.  The Garrity Group first commissioned the survey in 2011 and makes its cross-tab data available to help its clients identify and understand their target audience. The PACE solution leverages the demographic and geographic insights as a way for our clients to be relevant before their New Mexico audience. Identifying how our clients are Perceived by their Audiences, we Create a way for them to Engage relevant advocates.  For more information visit GarrityPR.com.

About The Garrity Group

The Garrity Group is a New Mexico public relations firm that helps small businesses to be heard and large organizations to be understood. Established in 1997 and based in Albuquerque, our team provides media relations, issue management, crisis communications, digital media marketing and event awareness.

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