911 calls down, response times up since protests began
According to the Portland Police Bureau, calls for help are way down but response times have increased during the month since nightly protests began.
The data released by the bureau Tuesday also shows there have been large increases in crimes associated with the protests, including arson, vandalism and burglary.
The data shows that response times for high-priority calls have increased from 7.5 minutes to 11.7 minutes since May 29, the first night of demonstrations sparked by the death of African American George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police. And the average response time for low-priority calls has increased from 36.4 minutes, to more than an hour.
Overall though, calls for service went down between May 29 and June 29 compared to the same time period in previous years. The bureau reports 21,244 dispatches between May 29 and June 29. The average number of dispatches during the same weeks of 2017-2019 was 32,998.
So with fewer calls for service, why are response times slower? The bureau chalks it up to calls "spending more time in the dispatch queue at all priority levels before a Portland Police officer is available for dispatch," according to the report. A spokesperson told KOIN 6 News that fewer officers have been available to respond due to the demonstrations and "criminal and violent activities downtown."
Of the 22 categories tracked, 16 others have shown dramatic decreases ranging between 13% and 82% during the past month.
You can read the report here.
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