DPD Response Times Still Above Department Goals

Dallas Police Unit
Dallas Police Unit | Image by Bloomberg/Getty Images

Police response times have been drastically reduced in Dallas but are still trending well above the Dallas Police Department’s goals.

Calls for service to the police are assigned a priority designation (1-4) based on the purported seriousness of a call, with P1 calls signifying the most extreme emergencies, like an active shooter or a major freeway accident with injuries. P4 calls occupy the lower end of the spectrum, representing “non-critical” incidents.

According to the City of Dallas police response time dashboard, as of March 15, the response time on average for P1 calls has been 9.7 minutes this year. The goal for P1 calls is 8 minutes. DPD clocked 69.6 minutes on average for P2 calls, which include reports of business holdups, robberies, criminal assaults, thefts in progress, and residence burglaries. The goal for P2 calls is 12 minutes.

For P3 calls, DPD averaged 190.4 minutes. Such calls include reports of random gunfire. The response goal for P3 calls is 30 minutes. P4 calls took DPD 207.1 minutes on average. DPD aims to respond to such calls in 60 minutes or less.

While still coming in above the department’s goals, response time averages have decreased from what was recorded last year, which was as follows:

  • P1 – 11.4 minutes
  • P2 – 107 minutes
  • P3 – 525 minutes
  • P4 – 560.9 minutes

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the latest police response times are being under a relatively new online reporting protocol that requires “non-emergency” crimes to be reported online rather than by calling 911. Officers are purportedly not dispatched to respond in person through this system.

Meanwhile, DPD remains critically understaffed, with a force of only around 3,000 officers. According to a City report, Dallas needs about 4,000 to properly maintain public safety and meaningfully reduce police response times.

“Effective sworn staffing levels means having enough officers to respond to [P1] calls within the goal of 8 minutes,” reads the report.

The police shortage has been especially felt in Downtown Dallas, which regularly logs much more crime than Fort Worth’s city center. The latter is reportedly patrolled by a dedicated police unit that works alongside private security guards.

Budgeting only around $654 million for DPD this fiscal year, the Dallas City Council chose to spend less taxpayer money on public safety than other high-crime jurisdictions, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City.

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