Avvo study: Only one in three Midwesterners believe police keep them safe


A study conducted by Avvo to determine public attitudes around national personal safety indicates a climate of distrust in the Midwest portion of the country when it comes to the ability of police to protect the public.

Avvo designed their survey to better understand Americans’ opinions on beliefs surrounding personal safety, gun ownership and the justice system. The data they collected appears to confirm Midwesterners’ reputation for self-reliance; only 31% of them said they don’t believe the police succeed in keeping them safe, the lowest percentage of all regions included in the study except for the South. Meanwhile, over 36% believe, if they were in possession of a gun, they could protect themselves when in danger.

However, that distrust doesn’t translate to a lack of deference and admiration for police in general, as a majority of Midwesterners hold police officers in high esteem compared to other professionals—75% of survey respondents said they respect them. Only doctors, teachers and pilots were respected more highly.

The survey also touched on the related topic of gun ownership, asking Midwestern gun owners the reasons behind their purchases to check for correlations with notions of personal safety. Sure enough, “protecting one’s family” was the top purchase reason for 30% of Midwestern gun owners, while 32% say they purchased their gun for self-protection.

Gun owners in the region also displayed confidence in their ability to responsibly manage their guns; 34% said they definitely could effectively protect themselves with a gun if in danger, while 24% disagreed. Still, a measure of levity was found in terms of the oft-repeated claim by gun control opponents that more guns (in the right hands, of course) makes us collectively safer: While 29% of Midwesterners report owning a firearm, only 15%—and 30% of Midwestern gun owners—agree that if more people owned guns we’d all be safer.

Avvo conducts periodic studies to try and better understand the dynamics facing individuals engaging with attorneys and the legal system. These are findings from a poll conducted in late August and early September 2015. Read more about the study, and get more regional detail below: