Fish Or Man

Monday, April 04, 2005

Response Times

With the below post about the lady waiting in the closet for police to arrive, I thought I would relay this bit of information again.

Ever wonder about the "average response times" by police to 911 calls? They always quote it when an emergency happens that takes police 30 or 40 minutes to show up to, claiming that amount of time was only a fluke. A quick search on the net and I saw some police departments quoting at under 3 minutes. So, are those just real fast police cars they have? Think again. Just about every city I have been in,(Bellingham, WA being the most blatant), I have heard this happening via police scanner:

When an officer is dispatched to a dog barking call or most any other non-emergency call, they tell the dispatcher, "mark me as arrived." They do this immediately after being dispatched, which either means they were parked directly in front of the location or they are lying. Those five-second response times go along way in bringing the "average response times" down. Police then claim that distorted "average response time" to the public, who in turn, feel better about the police department and relying on 911 for their safety.

Now, of course, if officers don't like the politics of their current Chief of Police they stop doing this, (or find other ways to delay "arriving" at the scene), and the response times go thru the roof. Then the public, hearing how the Chief mismanages officers and has rising response times, elects another Chief/politician. If they get the "average response time" to increase slightly, they might cite that in attempting to acquire more funding.