Edmonton police struggling to meet response time targets

Edmonton police have failed to meet their response time targets for almost 36 per cent of their calls for the first six months of this year, according to new data released Thursday. “Overall we’re not where we want to be with our response time,” Cal Schafer, strategic analyst with police said.

'Overall we’re not where we want to be with our response time,' says police analyst

The Edmonton Police Commission was updated on the latest police response time targets on Thursday. (CBC)

Edmonton police have failed to meet their response time targets almost 36 per cent of the time during the first six months of this year, according to new data released Thursday.

"Overall, we're not where we want to be with our response time," said Cal Schafer, strategic analyst with Edmonton Police Service.

For comparison, police failed to meet their time targets for 31 per cent of their calls during the first six months of 2017.

So far this year, police have received more dispatches than the previous year.

Schafer told the commission that police have received 1,542 more calls in the first six months of 2018 compared to 2017.

The majority of the calls are of lower priority, he said.

Scale from 1 to 5

Edmonton police rank calls on a priority scale from one to five.

Priority one calls, known as P1 to police, are more serious. The targeted response time is less than seven minutes for P1 calls.

For P5 calls, which are often not time sensitive, police are expected to respond within 180 minutes, Schafer said.

For each priority level, the service standard is to respond to calls within the time frame more than 80 per cent of the time.

Deputy Chief Kevin Brezinski said response times continue to be a struggle for police.

"The calls for service have increased year-by-year but our resourcing hasn't necessarily increased year-by-year. That is an issue," he said.

Most of the growth in calls since 2009 have been low priority, according to police information. Population growth also plays a role in the number of police calls year-to-year, officials said.