James Jones, Northeast Oklahoma City
Context: Jones said it’s a challenge getting police to respond to minor crimes in his neighborhood. In one instance, he remembers calling 911 for a property crime, but an officer never showed up. Citywide data shows Oklahoma City police struggle to respond to most calls as quickly as desired.
Bill Citty, Oklahoma City Police Chief
Context: Citty, a 37-year veteran of the force, said complaints about police response times are not new. A 2009 staffing study found officers responded to priority-one calls, where a person’s life is in danger, within 9 minutes and 30 seconds 70 percent of the time. The city was told it should respond to 90 percent of its priority-one calls in that time, although Citty said a more realistic goal may be 80 percent due to Oklahoma City’s size. Citty hopes the addition of nearly 268 officers in the coming years will improve response times.
“If you don’t have officers out there responding to those calls and being proactive, you’re not going to reduce crime,” Citty said. “You need to have boots on the ground.”
A Deeper Look:
Police Response by Area
This map shows the Oklahoma City Police Department’s division borders before they were redrawn in 2014 in an effort to improve police response times. Use the table below the map to compare response times in each division. Response times for the new divisions are not available yet.
[table “2” not found /]
Oklahoma City police prioritize calls using a 1-6 scale. Type 1 calls are the most likely to involve someone whose life is in danger and require an immediate response. Type 6 calls are the least dangerous and take the lowest priority.
Type 1 calls include medical emergencies, silent hold-up alarms, airline crashes or an officer in need of assistance.
Type 2 calls include kidnappings, suspicious activity, accidents with injuries, bomb threats and methamphetamine labs.
Type 3 calls include 911 hang-ups, mental health calls, attempted suicide, rape, child molestation, robberies, burglaries, assaults and shoplifting.
Type 4 calls include non-injury accidents, general calls for assistance from residents, white collar crime, fraud, vandalism, public intoxication or a runaway child.
Type 5 crimes include truancy, littering, suspicious mail, lost property or delivering an emergency message.
Type 6 crimes include non-emergency 911 hang-ups, severe weather, request for extra patrols and traffic arrests.
Data from the Oklahoma City Police Department