Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty says he needs 200 new patrol officers to meet the department’s goal of responding to emergency calls within 9 minutes, 30 seconds, reports The Oklahoman. On the busiest days for 911 calls — Friday, Saturday and Sunday — response times frequently exceed the goal. Response times decline on weekdays and mornings.
The city’s population has increased to 580,000, but the number of police officers has remained fairly constant. There are about two officers for every 1,000 city residents. Citty said the department has considered adding officers to the weekend shifts, when officers more frequently call in sick. Councilman Gary Marrs said officers knew what they were getting themselves into when they took the job. “If you didn’t want to put up with a different schedule than the rest of the world, you should have looked somewhere else to be employed,” he said. “We count on public safety to be there 24 hours a day, every day of the year to take care of those services.”