Skip to comments.Investigation: D[allas] PD Arrives Hours After Some Crimes [From The "Dial 911 And Die" File]
Posted on 07/25/2007 12:30:01 PM PDT by Spktyr
(CBS 11 News) DALLAS When you dial 9-1-1, how quickly do you expect a police officer to respond?
Some crime victims in Dallas have waited for hours for police to arrive on scene.
A CBS 11 investigation found that the problem is widespread.
When a crime has been committed against you, there's usually a sinking feeling.
"I opened the door, and the first thing I see was the T.V. was missing," said Dallas resident Jonathan Cardenas.
"When I pulled my drapes back, the door was wide open," said another victim, a 94-year-old woman.
Then there's usually an instinct to seek help.
"I just called the police right at that moment," said Cardenas.
The moment the Dallas Police Department receives an emergency call, the clock starts running.
For the 94-year-old victim, who wanted to remain anonymous, that call came from her alarm company. Her home was burglarized. The thieves stole a jewelry box and escaped before she returned home or police arrived.
It took police an hour and 38 minutes to respond to the call. "It's too long, entirely too long," she said.
In Cardenas' case, police took 2 hours and 17 minutes to respond to a call. By the time police arrived, he says he had already gone to his mother's house for safety.
"They say they protect and serve. I don't believe none of it, because they don't really do that," he says.
For Chad and Brooke Lindsey, it took 4 hours for police to respond.
The alarm company called police as soon as a break-in triggered their alarm.
"We were at the Atlanta airport getting ready to take off to come here. We were taxiing on the runway," Chad Lindsey said. The couple flew to Dallas, stopped at a friend's house and drove home.
When they arrived home, they found their car, jewelry and other belongings gone.
Police records show an officer responded at 12:56 a.m. That's six minutes after the Lindsey's say they returned home.
Chad said he was shocked and upset, "Why did it take so long to get someone here?" That's a common question and a widespread problem.
To determine the scope of the problem, the CBS 11 Investigators obtained records for all 911 calls in the month of May with a two hour or longer response time. We discovered there were 4,005.
We took our findings to Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle.
"Any calls that take more than two hours is indicative of a problem," Kunkle said.
Kunkle stresses that most of these 4,000 calls are likely not for life-threatening emergencies, classified as priority ones and twos. A call from an alarm company is considered a priority three, so it's often held until the other calls are answered.
"The least important calls will always be delayed if there's a more important call that needs to be answered," Kunkle said.
Chad Lindsey thinks that practice is dangerous.
"What if we were home and unable to respond to the alarm company calling?" he said. "There is no way the police know that we were not here, trapped."
Officers we spoke to off-camera say it's a gamble they must take because the department is desperate for more manpower. Kunkle said response time is fundamentally a capacity issue.
"I think all of us are frustrated by the fact that we don't have more officers," Kunkle said. "We're trying to put as many officers as we can out in the field. We're paying overtime, and we're hiring officers... We have more officers than we have ever had before in the history of the department."
Dallas City Council has committed to bolstering the department's roster.
Kunkle said other factors will also improve response time, including a new dispatch system, set to launch in late-summer, and an additional patrol station in south central Dallas. But he admits the numbers we uncovered are unacceptable.
Senior Corporal Lester Page agrees. Off-duty, he participates in the Town Creek Homeowners Association in northeast Dallas.
"One thing that as citizens of Dallas we do deserve is a police department that can readily respond to the calls that they request," he said.
Ernie Kluft, the chairman of the crime watch, said he wishes he could count on his tax dollars to fund adequate security.
"Would we do it as much if we had tremendous response time? Probably not," he said. "But we're a long ways from having the response time that we would require, need or feel we'd want for our families,"
Kunkle says response times have improved. In the most dire cases, he says the department is close to its goal of eight minutes. He also says improving response time is a top priority, and they're hiring new officers every six weeks to help with their objective.
Our number of lengthy response times, 4,005, represents about seven percent of the department's monthly calls. But to some taxpayers, that's 4,000 reasons for criminals to outsmart the law.
"The burglars, the thieves, know they don't have to worry about it," said Lindsey. "They were not concerned in the least. They knew the police would not show up."
The old joke is true. Call the police, call Domino's. See who gets there first. Hint: Have change for the pizza boy.
From the “Dial 911 And Die” file - another reason to own guns.
90% of police work is reactive. Buy a gun, get a dog.
Get a gun and know how to use it. The police will not protect you. They will, however, be able to bring the crime scene yellow tape and the chalk to outline your body. The horrible home invasion story from Connecticut ought to be a wake-up call to everyone who thinks they are safe in their homes these days.
Tell them you are going to shoot the perp. They’ll show up immediately.
I have many guns - no need to worry about me. :)
I also have a *special* present for any would-be home invaders - a large Kalashnikov-type magazine fed 12 gauge shotgun loaded with 00 Buck magnum rounds.
Just pay your taxes and shut up.
That’s pretty much what the liberals want, yeah.
Also why I moved from CA - among other reasons.
Wish the NYS legislature would grow a brain.
I do volunteer work in the DFW area and we had an incident with our alarm system and the company was unable, for whatever reason to contact us. It took 90 minutes for the police to show up and they didn’t come to the door right away, they cruised outside looking into the windows. Could have been laying on the floor in a pool of blood...way to go guys.
Key words to use if you really want a policeman.
Some one actually called 911 and died yesterday in Detroit. A guy collapsed on his front porch and all the neighbors called 911. They waited over an hour for the ambulance to show. One of the cops who was waiting was related to the guy and he pulled some strings and got a private ambulance from the neighboring county to show up. But it was too late, the guy died on the way to the hospital.
A major problem with, and the main reason response priority is so low is due to the alarm owners and companies themselves. In the real world, about 99% are false alarms.
That doesn’t always help. There was a recent incident in Garland where a crazy man with an illegal AK rifle kicked in the front door of a random apartment and started shooting. The neighbors called 911, the police took over 10 minutes to get there. By then, the inhabitants (a dating couple, I believe) had actually successfully executed a fighting retreat with their handguns. While the couple were wounded and had been driven out of their home, the nutcase was dead.
Of course, the police didn’t get there until it was all over.
The New Jersey Supremes ruled that there is no right to police protection. Dialing 911 does not guarantee a response. The case concerned a man who dialed 911 when he saw a woman getting abducted. They answered but never shower up. She was raped and murdered and the police were probably facing some kind of wrongful death (negligence) suit.
Keywords to use if you REALLY want a policeman, “I think he shot an officer!”.
I hope that Chuck Rosenthal READS the state law this time.
Better one: “I own a Krispy Kreme and have lots of free doughnuts here that the burglar might steal!”
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