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Springfield Police Explain 911 Response Time Process, Following Complaint

Springfield Police DepartmentSPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — A city family is upset with the Police Department’s response time for a reported break-in.  However, police are defending their arrival time and explain the process of dispatching their officers.

Aurelio Lopez says his 16-year-old daughter woke up to discover the Littleton Street home was robbed.

“She called me crying and that’s when I told her grab a knife and you know get herself near a wall stay there until the police show up,” said Lopez.  He also rushed to the house. “I am sitting there wondering where the police are.”

Police say they arrived within fifteen minutes and that even a few minutes can feel like a long time in an emotional situation. They say response time complaints are not unusual.

“The biggest problem we have is the fact that people expect us to be there the minute they are on that telephone, but again people are not looking at trying to get that call from where we are,” said Springfield Police Officer Charles Youmans.

Officer Youmans says all calls including break-ins reports are important, but prioritized.

“It’s still up there because we don’t know whether or not it’s an actual break-in, we don’t know if it’s a home invasion, we don’t don’t what level it is, so you are always gonna get officers responding there as fast as they can,” said Youmans.

The closest officer is usually sent and another unit will respond if that officer is tied up.

Meantime, Lopez also wants to know why an officer on a detail down the street couldn’t respond to their break-in report.

“The officers who are doing street details are employed by whatever company that is hiring them, so their obligation is to provide care, custody and safety to whoever is working out there in the middle of the street,” said Youmans who adds there are exceptions “When you are talking about bank robberies, shootings, your talking about stolen cars that might be heading the same direction, you know you have officers that are gonna do the best they can.”

The Lopez family lost a laptop, Xbox and some silver coins. There have been no arrests.


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