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“It doesn’t matter how long it takes police to get to a call if it’s not a call in progress,” he said. “If the perpetrator’s still at the scene, then of course it matters.”
No ‘magic’ staffing number
Hodges, in her State of the City address earlier this month, said the department will hire about 100 officers in the coming year. The incoming officers will help fill the ranks as the department faces a wave of retirements in the coming year, a staffing problem that Chief Janeé Harteau frequently mentions when discussing the department’s future.
Hodges’ spokeswoman Kate Brickman said the department doesn’t have a “magic number” for keeping the city safe.
“Mayor Hodges has confidence in Chief Harteau and the MPD in their efforts to recruit and hire the officers Minneapolis needs,” Brickman said in an e-mail.
As a measure of police performance, response times can be of limited value, said Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive Research Forum. Since most 911 calls don’t involve an ongoing situation, it doesn’t usually matter if a police officer arrives immediately, he said.
“Generally speaking, police departments don’t measure their calls just on response time,” he said. “It’s one of the factors. What’s more important is what the police do once they get there.”
Matt McKinney • 612-217-1747