Most Americans View Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Negatively, Especially Republicans 

By Steve Neavling

Federal law enforcement agencies have a public relations problem. 

A new Gallup poll shows that Americans, especially Republicans, have a negative view of the Justice Department, Homeland Security, and FBI, along with other non-federal law enforcement agencies.  

It’s the third straight year that most federal government agencies received “relatively low ratings.” 

The Justice Department ranked toward the bottom, with 66% of respondents giving the agency a negative score. Only 33% said the Justice Department was doing a good or excellent job. 

Ratings differed drastically among political parties, with Republicans overwhelmingly viewing the agencies more negatively than Democrats. Only 18% of Republicans viewed the DOJ positively, while 53% of Democrats gave the Justice Department a positive rating. 

The poll found that 57% of respondents viewed the Department of Homeland Security negatively. Only 32% Republicans rated the agency positively, while 56% of Democrats gave the department a positive rating. 

About 53% of respondents viewed the FBI negatively. The bureau had the biggest difference between Republicans and Democrats. While 26% of Republicans rated the FBI positively, 70% of Democrats viewed the bureau positively. 

Of the federal law enforcement agencies included in the poll, the Secret Service fared the best, with 55% rating the agency positively.  

Other federal agencies were also included in the study. Faring the worst were the IRS, Veterans Administration, and EPA. The U.S. Postal Service had the highest ratings, with 62% viewing the agency positively. 

“Americans’ ratings of most government agencies remain at a historical ebb, as Republicans view them particularly negatively — at or near their lowest points,” Gallup concluded. “These weak ratings come at a time of diminished satisfaction with the country’s direction and a lack of confidence in U.S. institutions.”

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