RPD head Stella Patterson revealed on Wednesday that the department is trying to fill 100 vacant positions. The Raleigh Police Union called the shortage “shocking.” Residents who spoke to ABC11 said they felt the negative impact.
“Someone’s life may be in danger,” said Tremory, a resident of North Raleigh. He did not remember hearing gunfire on the night of September 19. But he was not shocked to hear that it took 90 minutes for the Raleigh police to respond to a 911 call about this matter.
“I’m not surprised at all. I’ve lived here for three to five years. There have been many incidents around here. It’s been a while since (the police) came out to respond to our calls,” he said.
The labor shortage in the country has caused losses to the Raleigh police. The department is currently short of 100 officials. Tonight, affect officials and residents waiting for rescue. #abc11 pic.twitter.com/qt5nlrzBLF
— Joel Brown (@JoelBrownABC11) October 14, 2021
A source familiar with the internal situation of the city’s first response system told ABC11 that there were no personnel available between 2 am and 3 am on September 19; when the 911 call rang and the shooting occurred in Pine Ridge Square, It took an hour and a half for a police officer to arrive.
Patricia Rocker lived in the North Raleigh apartment in Pine Ridge Place for 2 1/2 years. She said that she had called 911 more than once because of gunshots. She knows the waiting time very well.
“I’m just not sure where the gunfire came from,” she said. “It usually takes more than an hour, and the police respond for one to two hours. Absolutely, too long.”
Rick Armstrong, vice president of the Raleigh Police Protection Association, said the incident was “unacceptable. I don’t think anyone should wait 90 minutes when they hear gunfire.”
Eleven hours after Patterson elaborated on the staffing challenges facing RPD, Armstrong accepted an interview with ABC.
She said at a press conference: “The police department is now short of more than 100 officers.” About the city’s quarterly crime statistics.
The vacancy rate of 100 positions in a department with 800 employees exceeds 10%.
“This is a big problem. This is a big problem within the police station. This is a big problem within the community, because citizens are people who suffer,” Armstrong said. “The police also suffer because there are no policemen on the street.”
About that night in September, and the long waiting time at Pine Ridge Place, an RPD spokesperson stated that although the call log showed no available assault personnel, RPD could send police officers from other departments if necessary. Armstrong said that solving the shortage problem should be the city’s top priority.
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