Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies are getting to the scenes of 911 emergencies significantly later than they were before budget cuts last March, reports the Los Angeles Times. Last month, response times were a full minute longer compared with their 2009 average. Officials say delays in emergency situations can have a major effect on law enforcement outcomes.
“Seconds count,” said Capt. Mike Parker. “When people call for help, they want us to be there right away. There have been lots of calls where I was really glad I was there when I was, and not five seconds later.” Since the department cut its budget by $128 million six months ago, response times have consistently been longer than they were last year. The delays affect a large jurisdiction that includes three-fourths of Los Angeles County and 4 million residents.