Deputy Chief Cy Ritter said the department and public are beginning to feel the effects of fewer officers on the street due to budget cuts. From July to September 2009, median response times have risen from 5.85 minutes to 6.19 minutes, despite July having a higher number of calls for service than September. D.C. Ritter cited the following reasons why:
- Because of staffing shortages in the Headquarters Detention Unit, there are no longer civilian detention officers at any of the six patrol divisions. Police officers must now serve as detention officers.
- Only three of the six stations’ detention units are open at any one time, causing police to have to drive further and spend more time out of service to drop off arrests.
- Just as the hiring freeze has not allowed the department to hire any more civilian detention officers, it has prevented the hiring of any desk clerks for the stations. Several of those positions are now vacant and must be filled by officers who would normally be on the streets.