DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Police units taking two hours to show up to a shooting or a robbery.
It’s what one Dallas Police officer says department records show and he’s on a mission to do something about it.
A YouTube video Officer Nick Novello posted last week has been viewed more than 11,000 times.
In it, he brings attention to DPD’s response times.
“On the call sheets you’ll see priority, a priority one in one instance, a priority which is lights and siren call – holding for two hours,” Novello said. “I went to the mayor’s office and I showed him three calls. I showed him a shooting on the freeway – a shooting, that’s a lights and sirens call – priority one – police hadn’t responded to that an hour later. I showed him a call where there’s an African American male that has been robbed, he was lying on the ground bleeding, police hadn’t responded to that for about an hour and a half, two hours.”
Novello said the response times are not a a new problem and he’s gone to city council about them before asking for solutions.
He said without the solutions, the problem is getting worse.
“The citizens of Dallas are greatly imperiled,” Novello said. “We’re so far past the viable point of damage control. If we hire 1,000 officers tomorrow it is a year and half or so before they’re on the streets. We need to sit down. Have these conversations, define the issues
and then come out of the box so to speak and look for some solutions.”
The President of the Dallas Police Association, Mike Mata sent CBS 11 this statement:
“After looking at officer Novello’s videos and the screen shots of the calls that he is referring to, it is very disheartening to look at the wait times that these call have at central. Obviously, Dallas residents expect a high level of service which most importantly includes arriving in an appropriate amount of time. I do believe that these response times show a lack of officer staffing, at not just central but at patrol divisions all over the city. To rectify this, the City of Dallas leadership is going to have to put public safety above bridges, golf courses and deck parks.”
The Dallas Police Department tells CBS 11 year to date — on average — the response time for a priority one call is just over 8 1/2 minutes.
A spokesperson for the Dallas Police Department said DPD has made strides in reducing response times for emergency priority one calls.
They report response time for priority one calls year to date 2018 is 8.34 minutes. This is down from 8:40 in 2017. The response time for priority one calls from October 2017 compared to October 2018, went from 9.16 to 8.66. The seconds count to 100.
The spokesperson said the department continues to explore ways to improve their overall response time and service for the safety of the community as a whole, which includes embarking on a robust recruiting effort to address the staffing challenges that they currently face.
Mayor Mike Rawlings released the following statement:
“I could not be more proud of our Dallas police officers for the incredible work they have done over the past several years driving crime down to historic lows. Our per capita crime is at levels that we have not seen since the 1960s. It’s one of the many reasons that I believe our police officers are the best in America. As a large and growing city, we of course will continue to face public safety challenges, particularly related to staffing. My staff and I have met with Officer Novello over the past few months to try to better understand his concerns. We appreciate his insight and we are grateful for his service.”