The Neighbors Have No Reason to Lie

Mayor Berry and Chief Gordon Eden are taking some serious heat over APD’s response time responding to the 911 priority one call out on the shooting of a mother and killing of her 3 children by her ex-boyfriend.

Eden and Berry claim that police officers were on the scene within 5 minutes, while neighbors said they timed it and it took APD 12 minutes to get to the scene.

Frankly, I believe the neighbors.

The neighbors are being honest and have no reason to lie.

Berry and Eden on the other hand do not want to admit the truth to something they know and have been told a year ago and that is APD’s response times are at unacceptable levels because of reduced staffing and endangering public safety.

The neighbors claim is supported by APD’s own statistics and the Alexander Weis APD Staffing Report prepared pursuant to the Department of Justice settlement agreement and given to the Federal Judge and Court Monitor.

A priority 1 call is one identified involving aggravating circumstances that may result in serious bodily injury or death, and such calls include rape, murder, armed robbery, assault with deadly weapons and domestic violence.

In 2010, APD’s average response time was 8 minutes, 56 seconds with 53,865 priority 1 calls for service handled
In 2011, APD’s average response time was 9 minutes, 25 seconds with 57,524 priority 1 calls for service handled
In 2012, APD’s average response time was 9 minutes, 54 seconds with 59,789 priority 1 calls for service handled
In 2013, APD’s average response time was 10 minutes, 2 seconds with 65,429 priority 1 calls for service handled
In 2014, APD’s average response time was 10 minutes, 34 seconds with 67,179 priority 1 calls for service handled
In 2015, APD’s average response time was 10 minutes, 43 seconds with 69,000 priority 1 calls for service handled

Weis criticized APD for taking 15 minutes on average for an APD officer to be dispatched to all 911 calls.

After reviewing all data given to him by APD, Weis found that it took more than two hours to complete tens of thousands of 911 priority calls for service.

February 2014 through January 2015, Albuquerque police handled more than 383,000 calls for service.

The Weise study found nearly 80,000 calls were completed in less than 10 minutes but almost 30,000 took more than two hours.

The staffing study found the average time to complete a 911 call was 48 minutes.

Seven years ago, APD had 1,100 sworn police officers.

Today APD had 836 sworn police officers with only 436 police officers patrolling our streets, over 3 shifts, taking 69,000 priority one calls for service.

Domestic violence cases are the most difficult and most dangerous calls for service that are handled by any police officer.

Response times in domestic violence cases can make the difference between life and death of the victim.

When I was interim Director of 911, I was tasked with implementing a 911 staffing, pay and performance program costing close to $2 million a year.

At the time, 911 was severely understaffed and pay was low.

APD response times to 911 call were approaching 15 minutes.

After almost a year, we were able to implement the performance program, hire more operators and get APD response times down to 8 minutes and 56 seconds, below the national average.

Today, APD rank and file are doing the best they can with the support and resources they have.

I have no doubt that had response times become this bad during my watch as 911 Interim Director or for that matter as Chief Public Safety Officer, I would have been fired and that is what you call being held accountable for your job performance.

Berry and Eden need to be held accountable and take responsibility for failing to address for at least a year the crisis we have in APD response times.

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.