Home » When Seconds Count, Police Are Minutes Away…Or Your 911 Call Goes to Voicemail
Last week, four armed men broke into a home in Florida and demanded money and prescription drugs.
The homeowner did what people are usually told to do in the event of a home invasion – he called 911.
But when the dispatcher tried to move the call from the fire department to law enforcement, the call was transferred to a voicemail message that said “hang up and dial 911.”
The Huffington Post reported on the story:
The four thugs reportedly injured the caller and two women who were in the home, and were said to have even threatened an INFANT with a gun.
By the time the 911 call went through, the caller had already taken matters into his own hands – he grabbed his own gun and shot one of the intruders in the back.
The county released a timeline which showed deputies were dispatched more than three and a half minutes after the original call. Yet, they claim the transfer issues didn’t slow down their response.
If that is true, and the problems with the call transfer really didn’t slow down the response, what does that tell us?
As this case shows, a lot can happen in 4 minutes.
Here are some scary statistics from the Women’s Self-Defense Institute:
According to American Police Beat, the average response time for an emergency call is 10 minutes. Atlanta has the worst response time with 11 to 12 minutes and Nashville comes in at a lightning speed of 9 minutes.
The Department of Justice, with their statistical prowess, reports that the best response time is 4 minutes and the worst over 1 hour. Interpretation? If you live in an upper income area you probably are privy to the 4 minute response time, while middle to rural areas will see a much longer response time.
So, we have a “best response time” of 4 minutes.
The average interaction time between criminal and victim is 90 seconds:
That translates to you being robbed/ injured/ maimed/ raped/ murdered and waiting for an additional 2 and a half minutes for the police to arrive. The truth of the matter is that the police will almost always arrive AFTER the crime has happened and the criminal has gone.
The reality is that you are on your own for at least 4 minutes or more. Anyone who has been in any type of altercation knows that it only takes seconds to inflict serious injury. (source)
On April 14 of this year, Kristine Kirk called Denver police after her husband Richard began behaving strangely. He was allegedly hallucinating, talking about the end of the world, and threatening to shoot his wife – which he did, while she was on the phone with 911 dispatchers.
An investigation into the response time revealed that in the death of Kristine Kirk, the first officer arrived in approximately 13 minutes.
Distance between the police station and the Kirks’ home wasn’t the issue:
A police station is only a short distance away from the Kirks’ home on St. Paul Street, near the DU campus; the station notes that officers were less than a mile away at the time of the fatal shooting. If they’d been dispatched immediately, some observers believe a tragedy might have been averted. (source)
In many cities across America, financial issues have led to reductions in police forces. In Detroit, a city that has experienced serious cutbacks in law enforcement staffing in recent years, self-defense shootings have increased to 2200% above the national average. More than 300 legally armed citizens defended themselves there last year.
Detroit’s police chief James Craig said the following about armed citizens:
“There’s a number of CPL (concealed pistol license) holders running around the city of Detroit. I think it acts as a deterrent. Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction.”
Yet, the anti-gun folks would like all of us to be disarmed, and rely on law enforcement to protect us.
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