In recent weeks, federal agents were deployed by the Department of Homeland Security to Portland, Oregon amid protests against racism and police brutality. Comprised of federal agencies such as Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration, the Coast Guard, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, these “rapid deployment teams” are tasked with protecting monuments, statues, and federal property.
Since these federal agents began occupying Portland, there have been reports and videos of the agents tear-gassing and pulling protesters into unmarked vehicles. The presence of federal agents have the support of President Donald Trump and in a statement Wednesday, he foreshadowed “a surge of federal law enforcement into American communities plagued by violent crime.” The first of these communities appears to be Chicago, where the president says he will be “sending hundreds of skilled law enforcement officers to...to help drive down violent crime.”
While the United States organizes its police departments at the state and local levels, the cobbling and deployment of various federal law enforcement officers have raised concerns of a national police force. Most Americans oppose (65%) the idea of a national police force replacing state and local police departments, according to a YouGov survey conducted July 22-23, 2020.
The idea of eliminating state and local police forces and organizing policing at the national level is deeply unpopular across all political parties. Even among Republicans, 62 percent oppose such a change.
But when asked about supplementing current policing with the addition of a national police force, nearly half of Republicans (48%) say they strongly or somewhat support the idea. This is at odds with what other parties and Americans overall say on the issue. A majority of Americans (55%)—including Democrats (61%) and Independents (62%)—oppose the addition of a national police. The idea is popular with 28 percent of Americans who say they strongly or somewhat support adding a national police force.
See the full results from replacing state and local police forces and those from the addition of a national police force.
Methodology: The surveys are based on the interviews of 6,530 US adults aged 18 and over. Interviews were conducted online July 22–23 ,2020 and results are weighted to be nationally representative.