Albuquerque police report lower response times

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque police said they have been successful in lowering their response times.

“It’s a wonderful step in the right direction,” Chief Harold Medina said.

An APD spokesperson called the improvement “significant.”

The department released new numbers for the time it takes an officer to arrive at a location after receiving a call. In February, for the highest-priority calls, like those for a shooting or an armed robbery, the data shows APD officers responded a minute and 44 seconds faster on average compared to July. The average response time was down to about 14 minutes for the month of February.

“There’s a variety of things that we’ve put into play that is leading to the success,” Medina said.

Medina said the department has diverted some calls to 242-COPS, used for non-emergencies. It’s sent calls to the community safety team, and officers are clearing calls faster.

Even still, waiting 14 minutes during an emergency doesn’t sit well with some in Albuquerque.

“I don’t like it. It’s very concerning,” one resident said.

“That’s a really long time. I just think of myself, if I’m ever in an emergency situation, 14 minutes, I mean that’s more than life and death,” said another resident.

There are some U.S. cities that have high-priority response times that are less than half of APD. According to the data gathered from the website, Safe Smart Living, these departments are all under 7 minutes – Nashville, Boston, Las Vegas, Nevada, and D.C.

APD said that there are longer drive times for their officers compared to those many other cities.

Albuquerque police made the most progress for lower-priority calls, and the department said that while the data shows calls on average were at an hour and 22 minutes in July, they were down to a half-hour in February.

Medina said he wants to see the most improvement in the highest-priority calls moving forward.