San Francisco

San Jose Police Not Responding Fast Enough to Emergencies: Audit

The San Jose Police Department is failing to meet its own goal of responding to life and death emergencies within six minutes, according to a new report from the city auditor.

Officers themselves are troubled by the report but concede the results are unacceptable, and the citizens of San Jose deserve better.

The report shows officers on average are taking 9 minutes to respond to Priority 1 calls; those are life-and-death calls, with imminent danger.

The target is 6 minutes.

Priority 2 calls include injuries or property damage or a suspect might still be at the scene. The response time target for those calls is 11 minutes, but it’s taking San Jose officers more than 22 minutes.

Sean Pritchard, vice president of the police union, says the audit is a huge eye opener for the department and the city.

"That’s a huge concern for us," Pritchard said. "It's just unacceptable to us. The citizens and businesses, they demand, they deserve better."

Police officials say it’s a supply and demand issue: more calls and fewer officers.

San Jose covers 180 square miles, and its police department has 1,100 officers. By comparison, San Francisco encompasses nearly 47 square miles and has more than 2,000 officers on its force.

"Our officers are trying to do the best job we can," Pritchard said. "But there’s only so many of us."

Police Chief Eddie Garcia was in meetings all day Monday but shares the union’s belief that the numbers are unacceptable.

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