Dallas Police Response Times Still High Amid Officer Shortage

Dallas Police Unit
Dallas Police Unit | Image by Dallas Police Department/Facebook

Police response times in Dallas are still running far above the Dallas Police Department’s goals as the city continues to suffer from a serious police shortage.

911 calls made to DPD dispatch are given a priority designation (1-4) based on the matter being reported, with P1 designations reserved for serious emergencies, such as an active shooter or major freeway accident with injuries. P4 calls are at the other end of the spectrum, signifying “non-critical” incidents.

According to the City’s police response time dashboard, P1 calls are averaging 10 minutes citywide as of April 19, coming in 25% above the department goal of 8 minutes. There have been 10,952 P1 calls for service this year. One of the more frequent types of P1 calls logged was for burglary of a residence in progress, of which there have been 1,105.

P2 calls have also been averaging above their department goal of 12 minutes, though by a considerably higher margin. Dallas police are averaging 74 minutes to respond to such calls, which include major violent disturbances, business holdups, and street racing. There have been 77,799 P2 calls.

Response times are much worse for P3 and P4 calls. Officers are averaging 205 minutes for the former and 230 minutes for the latter. The goal for P3 calls is 30 minutes; for P4 calls, it is 60 minutes. There have been roughly 55,000 P3 and P4 calls combined.

DPD has been struggling to near its response time goals amid a longstanding officer shortage of around 1,000 officers. A City analysis states that a jurisdiction the size of Dallas needs roughly three officers for every 1,000 residents, putting an ideal staffing level at about 4,000 officers. The department currently fields only around 3,000.

The impact of the staffing situation has been felt in Downtown Dallas. The city center clocks significantly higher rates of criminal activity than Fort Worth’s downtown area, which is reportedly patrolled by a special neighborhood police unit that works alongside private security guards.

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