Dallas Police Chief David Brown says reform efforts are making response times to 911 calls the slowest they've been since at least 2007, the Dallas Morning News reports. Officers are spending more time in training, so there are fewer cops on the streets, Brown told the City Council's Public Safety Committee. Officers are being taught to de-escalate and slow down situations, particularly those involving violent or mentally unstable people. That leads to safer interactions and fewer shootings by officers, Brown said, but the “unintended consequence” is longer wait times for 911 calls. “That waiting for cover, that doing things slower, that taking more time instead of rushing in and having to use excessive force is causing response times to go up,” Brown said.
Officers respond to the highest-priority calls, such as shootings, stabbings and domestic violence, in eight minutes, 13 seconds on average. That slightly exceeds the eight-minute goal set by the council. For lower-priority calls, in which a criminal isn't believed to still be on the scene, officers take an average of 22 minutes, eight seconds to arrive. That's much longer than the 12-minute goal for such calls set by the council. In past years, the annual average response time for top-priority calls was much lower. For example, in 2012, it was six minutes, 40 seconds. City residents have been complaining to council members about the slow response times.