NOPD response times have been in the news plenty of late, most recently with the armed holdup of more than a dozen diners at Patois restaurant in Uptown, an incident to which police took nearly a half-hour to respond. Other stories have chronicled even longer response times to less-urgent but still serious crimes; for instance, a Bywater comedy club made news a few weeks ago following a slow response to a business burglary. According to the report, the club was broken into three times in early August, with NOPD responding over 10 hours after the first incident and 8 hours hours after the second. Both break-ins were marked as “unfounded” by the police because the club owner wasn’t present when the officers arrived.
Business burglaries highlight the difficulties NOPD faces due to its shrinking manpower. These incidents are rarely emergencies and are hence given a far lower priority for response than emergencies such as shootings and robberies.
Reviewing Calls for Service for all business burglaries since 2011 shows that NOPD has responded to these incidents much more slowly in 2015 than it did in 2011. I calculated business burglary totals by using Calls for Service data for business burglary (62B) incidents that received an NOPD dispatch.
In this database, response times are calculated as the difference between a call’s time of creation and the time of dispatch. The response time does not include the time it takes the officer to arrive on the scene, but it is the closest possible representation with the available data. Business burglary response times by year are provided in the below table.