Lately, I have heard from residents who have shared their concerns about the lack of police response from SJPD. I would like to share with you how the San José Police Department prioritizes its calls and why. With limited resources, PD must prioritize violent crimes (Priority 1) over property crimes (Priority 2 and 3). Most police districts start and end the day with 4 to 5 officers in the district at one time. It usually takes 2 officers to respond to priority 1 and 2 calls. As you can see, it does not take very many calls for all available officers to be busy. This is where the frustration from residents occurs. Calls for loud parties, fireworks, drug dealing and loitering in an area do not fall within the top 2 priorities. By the time officers are available from responding to higher priority calls, several hours may have passed regarding the nuisance calls. Often times, a patrol sergeant may call you back to verify the problem is still ongoing and then officers will be dispatched to your call, as long as there are no higher priority calls pending.
SJPD prioritize calls from 1-4 and those priorities are as follow:
Priority 1 – There is present or imminent danger to life, or there is major damage to/loss of property, i.e., large-scale incident or cases where there is an in-progress or just-occurred major felony
Priority 2 – District-wide response when a crime is in progress or has just occurred, and there are injuries, the potential for injury, or the suspect is still present in the area. All missing persons reports where the children are under the age of 12, or at risk, including mentally handicapped or disoriented adults. Situations where there is a suspect in custody for any violent crime, or for a non-violent crime and is uncooperative.
Priority 3 – District-wide response when a crime has just occurred. There is property damage or the potential for it to occur. The suspect has most likely left the area. Situations when a prior crime against the person occurred and is cooperative.
Priority 4 – A district-wide response to a non-violent crime when there is no present or potential danger to life/property, and one or more of the below: The suspect is no longer in the area; beat or district information; details in the event are for broadcast purposes only; the response may be handled sometime during the shift.
It is my hope as well as the hope of San José PD that the officers of the Western Division are able to respond and solve your problems when they arrive at a dispatched call. While this is not always the case, we expect them to give you the best customer service that they are capable of and to explain what they can or cannot do for you. I hope this explanation answers questions regarding police response times and how SJPD prioritizes its’ calls. I’d like to thank Lt Michael King, Western Division Bureau of Field Operations, for sharing this information with my office.