Response times rile Detroit police chief

Response times rile Detroit police chief after 911 call placed on hold

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DETROIT (WJBK) - Countless Detroiters have spoken up, outraged over police response times. Now, even the chief is irate over this latest case.

"We have achieved a 10 minute response time on priority calls to service," says Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Now that's saying something!

The boys and girls in blue have one heck of a job to do. It's hard and things get hot and heavy out here on the street. The need to call a cop never stops.

"I give a lot of credit to the men and women in the uniform who are working hard to stop the clock and get to these priority calls," Craig says.

"We had a break-in, and I got here probably 25 minutes later and I was here before the cops were," says store manager Lance Atisha. "They came probably 30 minutes after me."

"The police chief himself was outraged," says Eric Preston, who lives in the neighborhood.

And for good darn reason.

His crew came after all this. Unfortunately, it was too late to foil this foolishness. The goal, the gull of two really stupid guys. Two crooked con men.

"Rammed the truck into the building," Atisha says.

Look what they did to Lafayette Foods. They really gave it to this grocery store. Wine went every which way.

"The sink broke, so water pipe was leaking the whole time," Atisha says.

The aisles were in shambles and where they went through the windows?

"I pulled up, it looked like a bomb went off," Atisha says.

That's why the wooden boards are up because it's bare, broken and busted. You better believe this clean up is going to be costly. You're talking thousands of dollars in damage.

"We're just here trying to make an honest living and you've got to do the same, too. Quit coming in our businesses and trying to take our pride away," Atisha says.

"When will end? I'm trying to move down here and maybe buy some property and this sort of stuff is making me think twice about that," says Preston.

It's sad how sick and pathetic some people are, you know. What a duo, two dopes, looking for some dope.

"They dragged the safe out and they took the safe from the pharmacy," Atisha says.

Police should have pounced on these punks - pronto.

"We could have apprehended the suspects. I'm not blaming the officers," says Craig.

But there was a problem.

The 911 dispatcher placed this call on hold.

"In excess of a half an hour," says Craig - and he calls that unacceptable.

"I was quite disappointed. We expect a little better than that," Atisha says.

If cops would have run on this run quicker, "they probably would have got them in action or at least caught up with them wherever they were headed to," Atisha says.

"Certainly we take it seriously and this is why we are investigating it. We're not taking it lightly," says Craig.

The Detroit Police Department was dealing with more than a dozen high priority calls at the same time.

"Not an excuse; it is a fact," says Craig.

Chief Craig has high hopes and expectations for every person on the force and, specially, when you're pointing to the people with 911.

"I want to make sure they're doing everything they can to find those units that are available, find units that are not handling priority calls to service," Craig says. "I'm also saying that supervisors can certainly be assigned calls."

"Every situation can't be tackled immediately. I personally think the chief is doing a great job and he just has to stay on top of his guys and make sure they're doing what they're supposed to do and hopefully he continues to do what he's going," says Atisha says.


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