MPD reports longer response times to 911 emergency calls

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Minneapolis police say it’s taking too long to respond to dangerous and immediate emergencies.

Last week, interim Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman told a City Council committee the average 911 response time for officers citywide is now eight and a half minutes, which includes high-priority calls known as Priority 1 calls.

The interim chief pointed toward a lack of staffing as the main reason.

“Certainly, the overall shift staffing is smaller,” Huffman said. “There are typically fewer officers at work responding to 911 calls, and some shifts of officers that were staffed in the past simply no longer exist.”

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The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association said there is no national industry standard for 911 response times, but a spokesperson said in larger departments the optimum response time is between five and seven minutes.

Huffman said in 2021 there were 496 budgeted patrol officers — the officers who respond to 911 calls. Through September of this year, there are only 407 available patrol officers.

The entire city budget will have public hearings and debates before the City Council finalizes and approves it in mid-December.