NYPD response times have spiked in the year following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a rogue cop, city 911 call system data show.
In the year since Floyd’s death it has taken cops longer to reach critical, serious and non-emergency calls across the board, compared to the year before the infamous killing,
From the day Floyd was murdered, May 25, 2020, to May 24, 2021, the NYPD response times for the most “critical” calls such as shots fired or an officer needing assistance surged 10 percent, from 4 minutes and 3.6 seconds to 4 minutes and 28.8 seconds, records show.
Response times for “serious” situations, such as assaults or larcenies in progress, jumped 14 percent, 5 minutes and 43.2 seconds to 6 minutes and 30.6 seconds.
Non-critical calls, such as fender-benders, saw a 9-percent uptick in NYPD response time, from 12 minutes and 28.8 seconds to 13 minutes and 36 seconds. (The stats are the average response times).
A record number of shootings, anti-cop protests, a dwindling NYPD headcount and low morale have done New York’s Finest no favors in responding quickly to emergencies, experts and law enforcers say.
“The rising response times aren’t any kind of mystery. They’re simple math,” Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch told The Post. “We have about 2,000 fewer cops responding to hundreds more violent incidents each week. And that’s before factoring in new rules, more paperwork, or the environment in which even the simplest job starts out as a confrontation. It all adds up to more work being done by fewer cops, and that means everything takes longer.”
Some of the lag in response times can be explained by the swell of serious incidents such as shootings, said Ed Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association.
“Cops are being tied up on priority jobs. And in this case it’s the violent shootings and homicides,” he said.
As of June 20, there were 680 shooting incidents so far this year, as compared to 444 during the same period last year, a 53 percent surge.
Shootings and murders skyrocketed in 2020 throughout the Big Apple, NYPD data show.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice Professor Peter Moskos, a national expert on policing, said “more calls, fewer cops and I think cops driving slower — it’s probably all of that.”
In the aftermath of the Floyd murder and elevated anti-police venom, cops haven’t given up, but they aren’t as eager to engage, Moskos believes.
“You can’t not respond to calls for service, but you do have some discretion in how you respond,” he said. “Suspicious person in an alley? If you drive slower there’s a better chance that person will be gone. So cops are weighing the cost benefit of, ‘Yeah, I get involved in this, something may happen that can hurt my career and I don’t want that to happen,’” he said.
Moskos, an ex-Baltimore cop, could not confirm response times were higher, in part, because fearful officers were taking the “scenic route” to jobs in order to avoid a career-ending confrontation or becoming the villain in a viral video.
“I certainly know the concept. And indeed, one wouldn’t want to rush to a bar fight when one could arrive with everybody exhausted. Or already gone. Lots of problems do actually resolve themselves before cops get there,” Moskos said.
Cops might also be slow on the draw to avoid a guy wanted on a warrant or someone who might resist arrest in order to “avoid a public spectacle,” he theorized.
Moskos said, “Unless there’s a cop who’s shot and bleeding out, you are never going to drive at maximum speed.”
Sgt. Joseph Imperatrice, the founder of Blue Lives Matter, believes the response time lag is due to the NYPD pulling back on efforts such as anti-crime units, or targeting of high crime areas.
“There are more serious crimes being reported and handled — which takes time due to the investigations. It’s a recipe for disaster because victims can lose faith and feel helpless,” he said.
Mullins defended the NYPD, saying he doesn’t believe New York’s Finest take the “scenic route” while on duty.
“I don’t see that happening … I don’t see it as a real thing,” he said. “Could it happen? Sure. Morale is at an all-time low. Morale is terrible.”