America’s police officers say they believe their job has become more difficult in recent years, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center. The study, called Behind the Badge, contends that cops believe the change was caused by both the increase in targeted fatal shootings of police officers, as well as public criticism and protests over high-profile police shootings of black Americans. Lead author Kim Parker said the report involved a survey of 8,000 male and female police officers who were a nationally representative sample. Jack Glaser, a professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, said, “Police officers are under greater scrutiny—the public is paying more attention.” Three-quarters of officers in the survey said they believe relations with the black community have become more tense and that they were more reticent to stop or question suspects or to use force, even when necessary. Ninety percent of officers said their colleagues worried about their personal safety. That trend began, researchers say, even before the recent shootings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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