The one thing that determines how you feel about the police

Updated 7:57 AM ET, Fri July 14, 2017

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(CNN)When it comes to how much confidence Americans have in the police, there's good news and bad news

The good news: After dipping to a historic low two years ago, confidence has climbed back up again to what's been the average the last 25 years.
The bad news: Confidence -- while high among whites, conservatives, and those over 55 -- is slipping among Hispanics, blacks, liberals and those under 35.
Let's look at each one by one:

Overall, the confidence level is rising -- and why

The findings are from a Gallup survey released this week. They show 57% of Americans have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the police.
In fact, two other US institutions scored higher than police this year:
  • small businesses
  • the US military
Contrast the confidence level now to 2015 when it was at a record low -- just 52%.
But that was during the initial rise of Black Lives Matter, when a series of deadly police encounters with unarmed black men led to months of protests.
So why has confidence in police rebounded while deadly shootings (and the corresponding protests) continue?
Better relations with the community: "Many police, not all, but many have really worked hard over the last few years to change some of those relationships," says Cedric Alexander, deputy mayor of Rochester, New York. He's the former national president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.