Business owners whose stores have been getting held up by criminals in Dallas have been having to wait on the police for quite a while — considerably longer than last year — amid a serious staffing shortage at the Dallas Police Department.
According to data from the City of Dallas police response time dashboard, officers are taking 39.3 minutes on average this year to arrive at a call about a business holdup as of October 20. Last year, the average response time for that kind of call was 24.7 minutes.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, DPD is operating with staffing levels well under the 4,000 officers recommended by a City analysis, maintaining fewer than 3,200 officers at present. The analysis advises that a city the size of Dallas needs about three officers for every 1,000 residents, putting an ideal staffing level at around 4,000 sworn personnel.
“Effective sworn staffing levels means having enough officers to respond to emergency 911 calls within the goal of 8 minutes. … Analysis shows the effective sworn staffing levels range from 2.66 to 3.08 per 1,000 citizens,” reads the analysis.
Business holdups are technically not top-priority calls (P1). They are instead designated as P2 calls. There have been 2,330 such calls for service as of October 20, according to City data.
Business owners in DPD’s South Central Division seem to be enduring the worst of the police shortage in terms of police response times when it comes to holdups, clocking the longest average response times this year out of all the divisions. It currently takes police 62.9 minutes on average to respond to a call about a business holdup in the division.
The data indicates that the Northeast and Southeast Divisions similarly log significantly above-average police response times for business holdups, 56.1 minutes and 58.6 minutes, respectively.
Downtown Dallas has also felt the officer shortage, with the neighborhood logging considerably higher rates of crime than Fort Worth’s city center. The latter is reportedly patrolled by a special neighborhood police unit working in conjunction with private security guards.