With tensions high and Seattle police paired up, response times may deteriorate

Jul 18, 2016, 7:53 AM | Updated: 8:48 am
police, homeless, camp, shooting...
Police believe a man was the target of a shooting in a homeless camp on Sunday. (AP)

Seattle residents can expect longer response times to non-priority 911 calls following the latest attack on police in Baton Rouge.

With officers still patrolling in pairs, there are fewer units on the street to respond to crime such as car prowls, burglaries, and other property crime, KIRO 7 reports.

Related: Seattle victims waiting on the road for more than an hour

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole announced the department would continue to take additional safety precautions after three officers were killed and three more were wounded during Sunday’s shooting involving a former Marine. Police began patrolling in pairs after the attack on police in Dallas, Texas that left five dead.

“This is certainly the most challenging time in policing since I’ve been in this business. But with every challenge comes an opportunity and it’s so essential that we work together to get it right,” O’Toole said after the Dallas shootings.

The department has struggled with response times in the past, The Seattle Times reported early this year. According to the Times, police were not hitting their seven-minute response target for priority-one calls for portions of Northwest Seattle and Ballard. Police were slower to respond to certain types of calls as well.

Around the same time reports of that information came out, news of more neighborhoods hiring private security also came into the spotlight. A Magnolia resident, for example, explained that while the area is “really safe,” it gets hit with a lot of property crime, which is a low priority for police. It led to residents hiring a security company to periodically patrol the neighborhood.

How long officers will patrol in pairs in unknown. However, the Times reports that before the deadly attack in Baton Rouge on Sunday, the department was monitoring results to see if the order could be scaled back. For now, officers will pair up for “the foreseeable future.”

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With tensions high and Seattle police paired up, response times may deteriorate