Police help is something we in America have come to depend on. We think 911 is this magic talisman and that our phone summons its magic.
The truth is, you are on your own… for at least a little while. That little while is different depending on what is happening and what time of day it is. You need to be prepared to hold out until they can get there.
When I first moved to Texas from California I talked to the police and find out what response times were in the small community I moved into.
The desk Sergeant was very helpful and truthful. He said most response times where around five minutes. I was impressed and thought he might be exaggerating as the police station was a ten-minute drive to my house.
But he added that could change by time of day if there was a train. Train tracks split the middle of the city and there was no overpass. A long train could have his officers stuck for up to 15 minutes. Like I said, truthful.
That response time was normal for life in the area. In some big cities, like Seal Beach, California they have other problems. In the middle of a summer weekend day, traffic is horrendous, and their response time goes from a couple of minutes to up to 15 minutes or more. I know because I studied under their chief at one time and it was a huge problem he was always dealing with.
Now with riots going on, police are stretched thin. There may be fewer officers in your area if you live around a big city like I do in San Antonio. Most cops are downtown and working riots and protests right now.
I use SpotCrime.com as an indicator of what is going on around me. It’s a simple web site that sends out a daily email on what crimes were reported by the police in your area.
I’ve been watching it for a year or so and found about 15-20 crimes within a 5-mile radius of my house every day. Most are assaults, petty theft, a couple of burglaries, and the like. Not a lot of detail but I can see what’s going on. It’s not perfect because I live on the edge of San Antonio. The site gets data from SAPD, but not all the little communities around me. I just use it as an indicator.
On June 7, 2020, there was one crime in my area handled by SAPD, a shooting. No others were reported by SAPD. The day before there were nine. The day before that, 15.
Interesting that SAPD didn’t answer any calls in my area except the one. I tried to check on why through local news outlets, but there is so much information (dis-information?) finding out what happened is almost impossible.
The takeaway: Anywhere you are, for any reason the police response time can change. Sometimes there is a legitimate reason and sometimes it’s just a train.
You need to be ready to hold out for however long it takes police help to get there.
P.S. I just set up a self-defense handgun course for Sep 2020 in San Antonio, check it out
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