DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – New data shows an understaffed Dallas Police Department could be taking even longer than reported to respond to 911 calls.
The discrepancy comes from the way response times are calculated.
A new report, requested by council member Scott Griggs, shows the Dallas Police Department adds the time it takes to dispatch calls and officers’ travel time to obtain its official response times. The department told CBS 11 News that’s a standard formula used by other cities, as well.
It does not, however, include the two minutes or longer it generally takes for 911 to input a caller’s information.
Dallas police have a goal of responding to the highest priority calls, involving incidents like an active shooter or a kidnapping in progress, in 8 minutes or less.
Current police statistics show it’s taking more than 9 minutes to respond to those “Priority 1” calls.
Adding the 911 time, though, shows it actually takes police more than 11 minutes from the moment a resident dials 911 for officers to arrive on scene.
“Two minutes is a huge amount of time for those priority one calls,” said council member Griggs. “For me, it’s important we start using the real number with the public.”
The data provided also shows response times so far this month have been slower than the year as a whole, indicating the problem is likely getting worse.
The department has pointed to its staffing as the cause, as it continues losing officers at a faster pace than it can hire new ones.
“Our force continues to get smaller all the time so it’s not a surprise to me,” said Griggs.