Shortage of Police and Delays in 911 Response

You call 911 and you think you will get a quick response, but you may have to wait quite some time. Public safety chief on lookout for more troopers.

Some troops have average response times that are nearing the 15 minute maximum set by state statute. Troop K, based in Colchester, had an average response time of 12.28 minutes in 2018. It also had a 12 percent staff reduction, leaving it with 59 officers for 360 square miles of territory.

A lot of really bad things can happen in 12 minutes. And they list another troop with response times almost that long.

And we are not talking about the great open spaces out west; this is Connecticut.

State troopers provide primary law enforcement services for 79 of Connecticut’s 169 towns and patrol state property and state highways.

And it is getting harder to recruit officers.

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So How Is All That Portland Social Justice Working Out?

Not so good, if you measure it by calls to 911. Portlanders Call 911 to Report “Unwanted” People More Than Any Other Reason. We Listened In.

Oh, and don’t call 911 for stuff that is NOT an emergency.

A call of this sort is made to 911 by Portlanders, on average, every 15 minutes of every day.

“One guy,” she told the dispatcher, “is over there, he put a tent over there. It’s very close to our building. It’s almost in front of the door.”

“He’s just camping out?”

“He put like a tent,” the cashier said. “A big tent.”

Where is the Social Justice Compassion Portland is famous for? Calling the cops on a homeless guy who is doing nothing… sounds pretty heartless to me. (Oh, and he wasn’t doing anything, but they were losing business.)

And now the media is calling the homeless “unsheltered.” (Which my spellchecker doesn’t even recognize as a word.) Portland has the 2nd highest homeless population in the country.

Not only do Portlanders call dispatchers every 15 minutes to report an unwanted person: They call every four minutes, on average, to ask police to intervene in situations where there has been no crime committed

Yeah, that’s an efficient use of public resources.

Of course they get around – by about paragraph 25 – to discuss the complete lack of mental health resources. (Which were completely killed off mostly due to a movie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.) And so police get called, because you can’t call the fire department unless you’re on fire. And those are really your only 2 choices when it comes to 911. Actually Portland does have a mental health hotline, but you can’t reach it via 911. (That makes no sense at all to me, I’m sure it is perfectly reasonable to the bureaucrats.)

The linked article is quite long, as they have transcripts of a number of the non-emergency calls.

So They Got Behind in Hiring? Or Got Used to Treating People Badly?

More on the nationwide shortage of 911 operators. Tulsa in need of 911 dispatchers.

It’s a nationwide issue now hitting home.

A 911 dispatcher shortage caused in part by a high burnout rate.

911 Communications Director Terry O’Malley said they got behind on hiring and need 31 more dispatchers as soon as possible.

And the poor jobs situation that prevailed since 2007 (at least), didn’t contribute to everyone just piling on the work. Where are you going to go? Except today, people have options. Even now, the pay (quoted in the article) doesn’t sound very high given the state of the economy. Which might change.

Detroit Cops REALLY Don’t Want the Public to Know Response Times

But then the head cop is a politician – as most of them are. Part 3: Anatomy of a Murder Scene: What Happened That Night on Detroit’s West Side.

“Stay in your lane.”

It was an extraordinary command from Detroit Police Chief James Craig last November, responding to criticism leveled by the president of the firefighters union.

The FD union chief was complaining about police response to an active murder scene.

Not only did Detroit Firefighters Association president Mike Nevin not stay in his lane, he doubled down, releasing internal police documents that show it took police the better part of an hour to respond to an active murder scene. A scene where panicked firefighters were pinned down.

Craig assembled a press conference, where he claimed that police responded to the call in six minutes.

Six minutes sounds so much better than an hour. So of course for the crime of telling the truth, the head cop is going to “investigate” the union chief. Because we CAN’T allow the truth to get out.

4 Hour Response to 911 Call About Robbery and Beating

Incompetence or bigotry? Police leave beaten bakery owner waiting hours for help after 911 call.

A Chinese business man goes to the bank.

Two men, who may have followed him back from the bank, beat him up, breaking his fingers during the robbery.

But while he called 911 shortly before 12:30 p.m., police did not respond to the scene until around 4:30 p.m.

Apparently the call was not logged correctly, and it seems language may have been part of the problem.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, but you are expecting an over-worked (and in some locations underpaid) .gov functionary to get things into the system correctly.

What If 911 Couldn’t Answer Your Call

No one does proper systems design anymore. Mean-time-to-failure. Mean-time-to-repair. Sigma bounds on the deviation. ’It’s a matter of life or death’: Cell, Internet outages prevent town from calling 911.

If you design a system assuming that certain portions of infrastructure are in place, when that infrastructure fails, you are up a creek with no paddle. When that system is 911-related, the whole area can suffer. Which is what is happening.

According to Cpt. Davis, during outages, the radios they receive calls on don’t work, and neither do the alerts sent to their cell phones. On Monday, she said someone had to knock on the station’s door to tell them about a car crash because they didn’t get the call, and that has happened more than once.

The internet provider has an excuse, but the people who designed the 911 systems have no redundancy. And to be fair, the provider has no backup plan either. Like I said. No one does systems design anymore.

Calling 911 is a good thing to do, they can send all kinds of help your way. But what if you can’t reach them on your phone? Then what will you do?

A Politician Playing Fast and Loose With the Truth?

And it isn’t even Chicago. Detroit Dupes Public on Crime: Police Response Slows as 911 Calls Spike. (This is only Part 1 of a 2 part series.)

The mayor and the chief of police are congratulating themselves on declining response times to 911 calls. But analysis of the raw data tells a somewhat different story.

A computer analysis of the records shows police are taking longer to respond to priority one calls, which are for the most violent and urgent crimes. In 2018, the average response times for priority one calls increased to 14 minutes and18 seconds, up from the previous year’s 13 minutes and12 seconds.

Response times to priority two calls, which typically involve emergencies such as robberies and hit-and-run crashes, reached a whopping 54 minutes and 42 seconds.

Now, to be fair, it is much better than a few years ago when it took Detroit Police about 30 minutes to respond to a priority 1 call, but a lot of REALLY bad things can happen in 14 minutes.

It isn’t the cops fault…

Consider this: The department’s ranks have shrunk about 25 percent since 2008, even as the number of 911 calls continue to climb. As 911 calls mount, DPD has 160 unfilled vacancies for street cops.

And “police runs” were up 39% in 2018 over 2017. It is an impossible situation. So cops spend less time investigating, and as result make fewer arrests. So of course violent crime is up.

Given the situation in Detroit, (low pay, slashed benefits) it is hard to recruit, and rookies get a few years of experience, and head for the suburbs – where they get paid more and it is safer. (That sounds familiar somehow.)