A new poll commissioned by the Oakland, California, Chamber of Commerce has found that a majority of residents support defunding the police, but also want to keep the number of police officers the same or increase the number of police officers on the force.
The poll, conducted by the research firm FM3, asked Oakland residents a series of questions, including a question on defunding the Oakland Police Department and a question about either maintaining, increasing, or decreasing the number of officers.
When it came to defunding the police, 56% of respondents said they supported doing so, including 35% of whom “strongly” supported doing so. Only 36% of residents expressed opposition to defunding the police, and 8% weren’t sure about defunding the police.
But when it came to the size of the Oakland Police Department, the majority of respondents expressed that they wanted to maintain or increase the number of officers.
In total, 31% of respondents wanted to increase the number of police officers, while 27% of respondents wanted to keep the number of officers the same. Only 27% of respondents wanted to reduce the number of police officers. Yet another 15% of respondents were unsure about how to answer the question.
According to the poll, African Americans were the most likely demographic to express support for increasing or maintaining the same number of police officers, with 70% expressing support for doing so. African Americans were also the least likely demographic to want the number of police officers reduced — only 19% wanted to do so. Meanwhile, 55% of white respondents expressed support for maintaining or increasing the size of the police force, while 53% of Asian and Pacific Islanders and 45% of Latinos felt the same way.
The Chamber of Commerce poll was conducted over three days in mid-October and surveyed 624 likely Oakland voters. The poll was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle and has a margin of error of 4%.
The Oakland poll comes amidst a reckoning within the House Democratic caucus over the effects that left-wing messaging, such as defunding the police and socialism-talk, may have had with voters across the country. While Oakland is a reliably blue area — in fact, it’s represented by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), considered one of the most liberal members of the House of Representatives — far-left activism emanating from the country’s deep blue pockets has caused swing-district Democrats to believe the hard Left may have cost them seats in the House and put a large dent in their majority.
Earlier this summer, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D) took a rare stand against the far-left when she cast the decisive vote against making further cuts to the Oakland Police Department. However, she explained that she was still on board with “reimagining public safety” in the city, reports ABC-7 News.
“More than 100,000 people every year call 911 wanting the police to respond, we know that Oakland police have saved lives, have prevented harm, have brought justice and resolution to victims of crime, and we have to honor that sense of safety also,” she said.