Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Response Times: If You Don’t Like The Numbers, Change the Definition

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Image credit: JJ/Creative Commons

Bridge Magazine investigation finds emergency response times haven’t changed much.

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JJ/Creative Commons

As part of WDET’s new series - Detroit Bankruptcy: One Year Later - Sandra Svoboda spoke with Bridge Magazine’s Mike Wilkinson about emergency response times in Detroit. Bridge is one of WDET’s partners in the Detroit Journalism Cooperative that is taking a look at the city as we approach the one-year anniversary of emergence from Chapter 9. Wilkinson’s story in Bridge looks at what city officials have been telling us about police response times.

From Bridge:

In the months before Orr filed for bankruptcy, weekly police records show emergency response times never hit 58 minutes, though on occasion they went over 50 minutes. For the seven months in 2013 leading up to the bankruptcy filing, the average was about 41 minutes, according to the memos. The previous year, 2012, police responded to urgent calls in about 35 minutes, the internal records show.

Police records also show that the reported steep decline in response times, which began in August, 2013, happened only after the department dropped a number of call categories ‒ such as “bank alarm,” “hold up alarm” and “homicide report” from inclusion as a “priority one” call (Two other homicide report categories – “homicide in progress” and “homicide just happened,” remained top priority calls).


Detroit Bankruptcy: One Year Later Series

This post is a part of Detroit Bankruptcy: One Year Later Series .

For a month, the Detroit Journalism Cooperative journalists will explore the impact of the city’s bankruptcy case, including its impact on people and neighborhoods and its long-term implications.

Audiences are invited to a free, community event where they can hear directly from key figures in the case and ask questions. The 6 to 8 p.m. program on Wednesday, Dec. 9 will be at Wayne State University’s Community Arts Auditorium. Learn more.

Presented by WDET in partnership with the Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

Support for this project comes from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism’s Michigan Reporting Initiative and the Ford Foundation.



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