As the police shortage in the City of Dallas continues, officer response times have improved over the past months but remain inconsistent. 

Emergency calls to the Dallas Police Department are assigned a priority rating of 1-4 based on the seriousness of the call. Priority 1 calls signify serious emergencies, like an active shooter or a robbery in progress, while Priority 4 calls represent non-critical incidents.

In November of 2023, Texas Scorecard reported that P1 calls took 11.3 minutes on average, P2 calls took 107.9 minutes, P3 calls took 555.3 minutes, and P4 calls took 587.1 minutes. 

In April, The Dallas Express reported that Dallas PD’s average response times were 10 minutes for P1 calls, 74 minutes for P2 calls, 205 minutes for P3 calls, and 230 minutes for P4 calls. 

As of May 11, the average response time rose slightly. The Dallas Express reported that Dallas PD’s dashboard showed P1 calls taking an average response time of 10.2 minutes and P2 calls taking 77.3 minutes. Although P1 and P2 calls did not rise as much, P3 and P4 calls saw a spike of 6.3 percent and 7.7 percent, with P3 calls taking 218 minutes and P4 calls taking 247.8 minutes.

Despite a city analysis claiming that Dallas needs nearly 4,000 officers to improve response times, Dallas PD currently only has around 3,000 officers serving the entire city. 

The shortage has led the Central Business District in Downtown Dallas to log a much higher crime rate than Fort Worth’s downtown area, which has a dedicated neighborhood police unit that works alongside private security guards.

Additionally, the City of Dallas’ Fiscal Year 2023-2024 and FY 2024-2025 biennial budget shows that there is only $654 million of taxpayer money going towards Dallas PD this fiscal year—a considerable decrease from other cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.