A Lot of Bad Things Can Happen in 15 Minutes

When you call 911 you expect police to show up. But should you expect that? SPD investigating Target rampage response time.

Why, when I’m at a Target, does it takes you 14 minutes to get there? He’s head butting people, he’s throwing things down escalators, he really is on a rampage .. I really want to know, how many cops are out there when I dial 911 or how many cops aren’t out there?

That question was asked of Seattle PD Sgt. Sean Whitcomb by a radio interviewer. The answer: Once we dispatched someone it took them 3 minutes to get there. But the Seattle PD doesn’t answer questions about staffing levels. It’s about safety of officers which I will accept for the time being. Though I have a suspicion that the union is going to make a push for more officers or more overtime or more something.

The incident itself was originally classified as a priority 2 call, not as a “crime in progress.” That contributed to the delay.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do. They can send you all kinds of help. They can also fail to correctly classify your situation, or just plain ignore you. You should have a plan for what you are going to do between the time you call 911, and the help arrives.