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‘Just unacceptable’: Police shortage in Raleigh wreaks havoc among officers and residents waiting for help


RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) – There might be another sign under the blue and white sign for Raleigh Police Headquarters: Hire Now!

RPD chief Stella Patterson revealed on Wednesday that the ministry was trying to fill 100 vacancies. The Raleigh Police Union calls the shortage “astonishing”. And residents who spoke to ABC11 say they are feeling the negative effects.

“Someone’s life could have been in danger,” said Trey Murray, a resident of north Raleigh. He does not remember hearing the sound of gunfire that night of September 19. But hearing that it took 90 minutes for the Raleigh cops to answer the 911 call about it came as no shock.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all. I’ve lived here for three to five years. There are a lot of incidents that have taken place in this neighborhood. (Police) have been going out for a while and answering our calls. ,” he said.

An informant with insider knowledge of the city’s first response system told ABC11 that on September 19, between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., there was no officer available; and when the 911 call came about shots fired at Pine Ridge Place, it took an hour and a half for an officer to arrive.

Patricia Rocker lived here in a condo in North Raleigh on Pine Ridge Place for 2.5 years. She said she had called 911 more than once about the sound of gunfire. She knows the wait time well.

“I just don’t know where the shots were coming from,” she said. “It usually takes over an hour, one to two hours for the police to respond. Absolutely, too long.”

Raleigh Police Protective Association vice president Rick Armstrong said the incident was “just plain unacceptable. I don’t think anyone should wait 90 minutes for a police officer when they hear shots. of fire.”

Armstrong spoke to ABC 11 hours after Patterson outlined the staffing issues facing the DPR.

“The police department is currently short of more than 100 officers,” she told a press conference. regarding quarterly city crime statistics.

The 100 vacant positions in a department of 800 agents represent a vacancy rate of over 10%.

“It’s a huge problem. It’s a huge problem within the police department. It’s a huge problem within the community because it’s the citizens who are suffering,” Armstrong said. “And officers also suffer from the lack of officers on the street.”

Regarding that September night and the long wait at Pine Ridge Place, a spokesperson for the RPD said that despite a call log that showed no screening officers available, the RPD reportedly could send police from other departments if necessary. Armstrong said solving the shortage should be the city’s No.1 priority.

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