EPD addresses issues with response times

In that video, Police Chief Chris Skinner talks about why they're having issues with response times and what they're doing to mitigate those issues.

Posted: Sep. 12, 2018 10:53 PM
Updated: Sep. 12, 2018 11:13 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The Eugene Police Department released a community safety and services on Wednesday morning, detailing their issues with response times.

In that video, Police Chief Chris Skinner talks about why they're having issues with response times and what they're doing to mitigate those issues.

"Over the last five years, Eugene's population has grown, and so have our community's safety needs," Skinner said.

Police officials said since 2014, 911 calls have increased by 21 percent.

That growing number, paired with the fact that the police department hasn't been able to increase their staffing, has put restrictions on their ability to respond to calls.

However, when they are able to respond to those calls, it takes about 30 minutes to get there. That's up an average of 20 minutes from four years ago.

That's because they prioritize life-threatening calls, forcing general public issue calls to wait until an officer is available.

Pastor Brad Lane from Bethel Community Church said he didn't realize for the longest time what the issue was with response times.

"And have a lot of activity that you don't know about or are uncertain about and have concerns about," Pastor Lane said. Then you call the police and there's no response, what do you do? But, come to find out, they just do not have the personnel to be able to come to these.. we'll call them 'lower risk' kinds of situations, but they still remain public safety issues in the community."

Chief Skinner said that to help combat their response issues, they've partnered with several agencies.

"Programs like Community Outreach and Response Team and CAHOOTS work to connect people in crisis with appropriate services and reduce the need for costly emergency response, or law enforcement services," Chief Skinner said.

Chief Skinner said even their resources can only go so far.

Which is why they need the public's help to identify the biggest safety and livability issues in the city so they can be addressed.

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