SFPD Cooks the Books on 911 Response Time

They aren’t the first, and probably won’t be the last, department to do so. SFPD finds crime response times longer than thought. So it adds to its goal.

For years San Francisco has been clocking the average response time to serious crimes at 5.5 minutes, when in fact it takes a median time of 7 minutes from when the 911 call is made for police to arrive on the scene, according to revised calculations just released in a joint Police Department and city controller’s report.

So since they are making it to “serious crimes” in 7 minutes they set a stretch goal of being there in 8 minutes. (Way to beat those metrics!)

This article is not clear at all, but that minute and a half are usually time for the call to be answered, relevant data to be collected. (Place, nature of help needed) and for a cop to be dispatched. Travel time of the cop to the scene will depend on traffic, etc.

Continual improvement? Not so much. Resting on your laurels? Maybe, though if you are penalized for not meeting goals, they should be goals you have a chance to meet, and the circumstances should be completely in you control. (Traffic is not something that is in an officer’s control.)

3 thoughts on “SFPD Cooks the Books on 911 Response Time

  1. And 7 or 8 minutes is a very long time to wait when confronted with a violent criminal. Bad things can happen in 7 minutes.


  2. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 12.13.19 : The Other McCain

  3. 45ACP at nominal 835ft/s covers 21 feet in a lot less than 7 minutes. Even adding in time to draw aim and pull the trigger, still a lot less than 7 minutes. I’d guess you’d have to add in time to unlock the safe, pull out the firearm, go to the other room and load a magazine (because California) to start getting close to 7 minutes.

    But having a goal in mind is good as long as it is reasonable and don’t change it when you fall short. Reevaluate, make sure the original number was/was not reasonable before changing it.


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