Exactly why Philadelphians have become more concerned about public safety is more nebulous, since the surveyors didn't ask people the reasoning behind their answers.

"That increase was more or less across the board, but more pronounced in whites" than in black or Hispanic Philadelphians, Eichel said. 86 percent of white respondents said they respected the police, compared with 60 percent of black respondents and 60 percent of Hispanic respondents.