District 1 Councilmember Sharon Hightower frequently complains about the treatment her district receives from the city. At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 5 one of her complaints was that the police responded to calls in her district slower than they did to calls in other City Council districts. Hightower said, “My district doesn’t get any kind of response. They don’t get fair treatment across the city.”
Hightower may believe that but the facts tell a different story. In District 1 for priority calls the police response time was 7:47 which is the second lowest response time in the city. If anyone should be complaining it should be District 5 Councilmember Tammi Thurm because the police response times in District 5 for priority calls was 8:38 the highest of any district. According to the police report it is because District 5 is in a police district that is larger and more spread out, so more travel time is involved.
It can be confusing because the four police districts do not correspond to the five council districts and are based on how many calls the police answer. So each of the four police districts regardless of the geographic size has approximately 25 percent of the total number of calls. The larger districts are in lower crime areas and the smaller districts are in higher crime areas.
The City Council district with the shortest police response times is City Council District 2 represented by Councilmember Goldie Wells the average response time for priority calls was 7:32. District 3 represented by City Councilmember Justin Outling had an average response time for priority calls of 7:45. District 4 represented by Councilmember Nancy Hoffmann had an average response time of 7:53.
So while Hightower was complaining it turns out only one council district had faster response times than the district she represents and in Council District 5 the response times were a full minute longer than in Hightower’s district.
The average response time for the city for priority calls was 7:49. So in Hightower’s district the response time is well below the city average.
The average response times for all calls falls in the same pattern with Council District 1 having an average response time of 11:21 and Council District 2 having the lowest response time at 11:20 the average for the city is 11:49 which is pretty good when you consider these include non-priority calls.