"Eight hours is unacceptable": Councilman Paul Cunningham says TPD needs more resources
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Countless viewers have come forward to 9OYS with stories of how they were burglarized and how they waited for as long as 25 hours.
KGUN 9 worked to get answers from Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor and councilman Steve Kozachik. Tuesday night, 9OYS sat down with councilman Paul Cunningham to get his take on the situation plaguing TPD.
Reporter Marcelino Benito asked Cunningham if he thought the response times were unacceptable.
He replied, "Eight hours for a felony crime is unacceptable."
Cunningham told 9OYS it's a problem he's experienced first hand. Benito asked how he would feel if his home were broke into. He replied, "I can speak from experience. Last year our home was burglarized and we waited six and a half hours. It wasn't a pleasant experience."
It's not a pleasant experience for a lot of 9OYS viewers -- waiting, waiting and waiting some more TPD to show up.
"I'd like to believe the eight hour situation is not the norm," he said.
In fact, eight hours is one of the better response times we've heard about. Some of you have waited up to 25 hours. The chief told 9OYS they're doing the best they can with what they get.
"As this budget process evolves, yes it's our decision to make whether we're going to have people waiting 6 or 8 hours," Cunningham said.
After watching 9OYS burglary coverage, Cunningham told us he's even more committed to finding more funding for public safety, but he says the reality is it won't happen overnight.
"I'm cautiously optimistic there'll be more resources to increase the number of police officers," Cunningham said.
Cunningham said the overall state of the economy is also partly to blame for this situation. Cities across the country are going through the exact same thing.
Both Kozachik and Cunningham agree TPD needs more resources. They've pledged to do what they can this coming budget cycle to make sure TPD gets what it needs.