Report calls 'improved' Detroit police response times into question

A new report is calling the figures used to point to a drop in Detroit police response times for urgent calls into question.

According to records obtained by Bridge Magazine, the drop in response times could have less to do with an improvement in services and more to do with the department redefining its highest-priority calls. In 2013, the department dropped a number of categories — such as “bank alarm,” “hold up alarm,” and “homicide report” — from its “priority one” calls. 

One figure put Detroit's pre-bankruptcy police response times for high-priority crimes at a staggering 58 minutes — which was used by Kevyn Orr, in part, to justify recommending Detroit filing for bankruptcy. The city filed for bankruptcy in July, 2013; the police department started redefining its priority one calls in August, 2013.

Bridge could not find any evidence of DPD ever taking 58 minutes to respond to an urgent call during the months before the bankruptcy filing, though they did find some instances clocking in at over 50 minutes. 

Read the full report here.

About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland “Lee” DeVito is the editor in chief of Detroit Metro Times since 2016. His writing has also been published in CREEM, VICE, In These Times, and New City. He once asked porn star Stormy Daniels to spank him with an issue of Metro Times. She obliged.

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