Your questions answered by one of Dallas' finest
David Elliston was deputy Chief of the Dallas
Police Department's North Central Division.
Q. If we call 911, approximately how
long will it take an officer to arrive at our home?
A. If your call is an emergency, our
goal is to respond in eight minutes or less. Many factors can influence response
times, but factors such as traffic, weather and call load are the most
prominent. The Dallas Police Department prioritizes calls for service and sets
response time goals for each category. Priority 1 calls require an emergency
response and include shootings, cuttings, felonies in progress and
assist-officer calls. Priority 2 calls require a prompt response of 10 minutes
or less and include major accidents, prowlers, 911 hang-ups, etc. All remaining
calls are classified as Priority 3 (general service) and Priority 4
(non-critical) calls. At the North Central Patrol Division, our average response
time for priority 1 calls is 7.51 minutes, down from 7.86 minutes for the same
time period last year. Our average response time for prior- ity 2 calls is down
more than 10 percent from last year. We are working towards improving our
response times and the delivery of service to our community.
Q. I'd like to know what percentage of
thieves, car- and home-related, actually are caught?
A. In 2004, the North Central Patrol
Investigative Unit cleared 14.3 percent of the residential burglaries, 13.5
percent of the business burglaries and 5.2 percent of the motor vehicle
burglaries. An offense is cleared when the offender is arrested. While
these clearance rates appear very low, they are comparable to
other police departments in the area. Property crimes are very difficult to
solve because there is usually very little evidence with which to work, and many
times people can not positively identify their property. We encourage people to
document your valuables by either recording your serial numbers, etching your
driver's license number on your property, or making a video or written inventory
of your property so that if you become a victim, you can identify your property
when it is recovered.
Everyone can help by documenting your property and making
yourself a "hardened target." Follow the advice "Take, Lock Hide." When you
leave your car, take your valuables with you, lock them in the trunk or hide
them out of sight.
Don't extend an invitation to criminals. Harden your target at
home by keeping your garage doors closed, parking your cars in the garage and
getting a neighbor to watch your house when you are away. Create the appearance
that someone is home by leaving a few lights on and keep a radio playing.
Help your neighborhood by becoming involved in your local
crime watch and volunteering to serve with the volunteers in patrol. If you wart
information about starting a crime watch or joining a VIP, contact your local
Want to tell us about a crime that happened to you recently?
Have a question? E-mail it to
, or send your question to: North Dallas Home + Heritage, Ask a Cop, 6301
Gaston, Ste. 820, Dallas 75214.