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Watch the 7 Investigators documentary on Detroit 911 response times

Posted at 10:43 AM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-25 12:22:01-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — They hid in bedrooms, cowered behind doors and ran down city streets. Some lived in Detroit for only a few years, others their entire lives. But all of them were waiting for police.

WATCH OUR 7 INVESTIGATORS DOCUMENTARY IN THE PLAYER ABOVE. You can also watch it now on Roku, AppleTV and Amazon Fire TV.


At a time when the city touts the fastest response time to 911 calls in well more than a decade — 12 minutes for priority one calls — thousands of the most urgent calls to police each year still leave victims waiting 30 minutes or more for help. Hundreds wait longer than an hour.

A 7 Action News investigation reveals that, over a 20-month period, 650 priority one calls took more than 60 minutes to receive a response. The calls include reports of active shootings, rapes in progress, felonious assaults, armed robberies, armed attacks from the mentally ill and suicides in progress.

More than 18,000 priority two calls, which are less urgent but sometimes just as serious as priority one, took 60 minutes or longer to receive a response last year, according to department data.