MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of 911 calls are going without an immediate response in Minneapolis. That’s according to new numbers taken from the Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center.
At a Minneapolis City Council meeting earlier this month, police chief Maderia Arradondo said he wanted to dramatically increase the size of the department by 2025.
“Quite frankly we are hemorrhaging,” Chief Arradondo told the council.
That was when the original estimate of priority one 911 calls going without an immediate police response was 1,251– between July 1, 2018 and June 30th, 2019. New data released over the weekend shows the real figure is more than five times that.
“There were 6,776 priority one calls that were made that we didn’t have an officer immediately able to respond,” Minneapolis Police public information officer John Elder said.
Those emergency calls include homicide and rape. Elder says the data renews the Chief’s call to add 400 more officers to the force over time. The Minneapolis Police Department currently employs around 600 patrol officers.
“We need additional staff to properly serve the residents of the city,” he said.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says he supports adding to the police force, but doesn’t think 400 is doable with the budget.
“It’s not like we’re looking at 400 officers or zero officers,” Mayor Frey said. “There’s a lot of room in between.”
City Council will need some convincing, as some members have raised questions about if more police would equal less crime.
“One 911 call that goes un-responded– that’s unacceptable,” Mayor Frey said. “But when we’re talking about thousands that’s unconscionable.”
On Twitter, Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender said that to have one additional officer for a year costs the city around $150,000. That adds up to $60 million with 400 officers.