Residents question police response times in Waterbury - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Residents question police response times in Waterbury

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Residents raised concerns about police response times in Waterbury (WFSB) Residents raised concerns about police response times in Waterbury (WFSB)

The Waterbury Police Department is getting called out for lengthy response times and some say it takes hours for an officer to show up to investigate a routine complaint.

None of the calls revolve around life or death situations, but residents say their quality of life is being affected.

In Waterbury, there are around 75,000 calls each year and they’re prioritized from 1 to 4, with 1 being an immediate emergency and 4 being something like a noise complaint.

It’s the “4s” that are seeing the delays, and neighbors aren’t happy about it.

Staci Potts, of Waterbury, recently called the non-emergency line for a noise complaint.

“The dispatcher was like, 'I’m sorry, what?' I was like, 'Oh, excuse me. Let me go to the opposite end of my apartment so you can hear me’,” Potts said.

While no one’s life was in danger, she did want someone to tell her neighbor to turn it down.

“You just want to relax, catch a show, catch the news before you go to sleep and you can't do that because you have this loud music and partying going on,” Potts said.

When asked how long it took for police to get there, she said: “They didn’t.”

The problem was solved without police when the neighbors voluntarily lowered the volume, but Potts said the lags in non-emergency calls really drags her quality of life down.

“It seems like it's not a priority. My quality of life is not a priority to my police department,” Potts said.

On Wednesday, she and dozens of neighbors met the top brass of the Waterbury Police Department face-to-face, looking for answers.

Waterbury Police Chief Vernon Riddick said he’s aware of the problems. In fact, some of his own officers have complained.

“I return phone calls between 24-48 hours personally. That's what we do, that's good policing and that's what citizens need,” Riddick said.

He's promising the dangerous calls will still be the priority, but the quality of life ones will get better treatment because the department plans on dedicating an officer to solely check on non-emergency calls.

Residents said they're happy to see transparency from the chief and the city does have these forums from time to time.

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