Acronyms and task forces can't mask manpower shortage

KHOU-11's Mike Zientek reports more disturbing news about HPD response times:

Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt answered questions from 11 News about the slow response time to a hotel shooting that ended with a man in the hospital.

"If there are some shortcomings on our part we're going to review it and make sure it doesn't happen again," Chief Hurtt told 11 News.

The 11 News crew beat police to the scene and emergency crews waited for nearly 30 minutes for any sign of HPD.

[snip]

But what might be troubling is that an HPD spokesperson said the department tries to respond to calls like the one at the hotel in 12 minutes at the most. That same spokesperson told 11 News it took a lot longer than that.

According to HPD’s own timeline, a dispatcher got the call at 6:24 a.m., made two requests for units and received no response.

At 6:40 a.m. a supervisor from the day shift left for the scene.

He arrived at 7:01 a.m., 37 minutes after dispatch received the call.

In fact it took so long that the 11 News photographer recorded firefighters putting up crime tape—not police.

“There should have been somebody on the air, somebody in the city of Houston to answer that call,” Chief Hurtt said. “It’s not routine for the city of Houston. This was an extraordinary incident, again we’re in the process of reviewing it. If there are some shortcomings on our part we’re going to review it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

IF there are shortcomings?

*ahem*

Chief, when KHOU reporters beat the cops to a shooting scene, and firefighters get so restless that THEY string police tape, it's safe to say there was a shortcoming on the part of your department!

Unfortunately, since HPD manpower is stretched thin because politicians have ignored the problem for so long, this is the sort of thing we can expect to happen.

Look for MayorWhiteChiefHurtt to announce a new acronym or task force to tackle this latest problem soon.

Posted by Kevin Whited @ 01/31/06 07:03 PM | Print |

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