New survey indicates police are concerned for safety - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New survey indicates police are concerned for safety

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

A new study suggests most police officers are reluctant to make traffic stops or to use force when necessary.

It's important to note, the more than 8,000 police surveyed work in departments with more than 100 officers.

So, after reviewing the information, we caught up with Waverly Police to see how smaller departments are reacting.

The Pew Research Center indicates 93 percent of police officers surveyed are concerned for their safety, and 76 percent of police officers are reluctant to use force when necessary.

Waverly Police Officer Dave Lindley said during traffic stops, he thinks more about his training.

"I'm just mentally telling myself to be alert, be aware, watch for unusual movements. If something doesn't go the way typically it would go, where am I going to go? How am I going to respond," Officer Lindley said.

The Pew Research Center survey also indicates 86 percent of officers questioned felt fatal encounters between Blacks and police made policing more difficult.

Officer Lindley had this to say about racial tension in bigger areas, translating to Waverly, "we have lots of different people who have come from lots of different places, and they've had lots of different experiences. So, people bring those experiences with them when they come here. They may have a perception correct or incorrect of law enforcement."

Increased oversight with tools like cellphones, body cameras, and even dash cams that have been around for some time have police officers in bigger departments concerned their actions could be called into question at a later date.

However, Officer Lindley says that's not really the case in Waverly, a community that already holds police accountable.

"Whether it's social media or just people's perception, you just always have to be aware people are watching, especially in a community like this. People are going to see what you're going to do and hold you accountable for it," Officer Lindley said.

The Pew Research Survey provides the first national evidence that shows police have concerns about their safety.

To review the survey, click here: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2017/01/11/behind-the-badge
 

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