9OYS Crime Watch
'When we receive a call, we will respond": Pima County on response times
Reporter: Alexis Fernandez
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - From the moment you call 9-1-1, dispatchers at the Pima County Sheriff's Department center are already working in full force to get help to you.
Talia Carey with the sheriff's department says every call is answered and categorized before a unit is sent out.
9OYS asked dispatchers how they determined what calls were more important than others.
"We have a priority system and what we go by is there's set priorities based on danger to life, danger to property, things like that," she said.
That system is broken down into four levels:
Priority 1 - the highest, are calls related to robberies, stabbings, shootings or simply a crime in progress. Average response time: 5 minutes.
Priority 2 - calls related to homicides and things like car accidents where someone is hurt. Response time: 8 minutes.
Priority 3 - things likes assaults and threats, response time is about 10 minutes.
Priority 4 - calls about drugs or suspicious activity. Those can take twenty minutes or more.
The department says it rarely takes longer than that to get a deputy on scene.
"We dispatch them as soon as we can, as soon as we have a unit available those calls are going to go, we don't have calls sitting and holding," said Carey.
Quite a feat, considering dispatchers like Cara Kelly help answer about 240 9-1-1 calls on any given day and all the work that goes on at the same time.
"You're typing, talking, searching, looking up names, histories, stuff like this all at the same time," she said.
And they do all this knowing the deputy to population ratio is well below the national average.
"We're really trying, sometimes we have challenging situations where a lot of things are going on, that is why we have the system of prioritization, but to us the service component is very important we take that very serious," said Deputy Tom Peine, with the Pima County Sheriff's Department.