Dallas Police Chief David Brown says he needs more officers to halt slower 911 response times and rising violent crime. “We need more officers on the ground,” Brown told the City Council's Public Safety Committee, reports the Dallas Morning News. Brown hopes to eke out a 12th straight year of crime reduction. He faces a challenge this year, because crime in Dallas was down less than 1 percent through the end of November. Police response times have improved since August, to 7.8 minutes for the most urgent, or Priority 1 calls, such as shootings, crimes in progress and domestic violence. In August, the average for those calls was 8.2 minutes. The department's goal for those is 8 minutes.
For Priority 2 calls, such as robberies and assaults, the response times have improved from 24 minutes in August to 16 minutes this month. The department's goal for those types of calls is 12 minutes. Brown attributed the improvements to his “strategic” use of overtime dollars, which have jumped by more than 900 percent this year, in areas with higher call volumes. Brown’s department of 3,500 officers has suffered a “significant decrease” of 166 cops since 2010, which caused response times to get slower.