Antioch residents raise concerns over police response times

Antioch crash.jpg
Posted at 10:22 PM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 00:22:11-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — More than five hours, that's how it took police to respond to the scene of an accident Sunday night. Neighbors are frustrated and concerned. But Metro Nashville Police officials say there is a good reason why.

Hillary Harris says she called 9-1-1 and waited for officers to arrive. She says she’s not blaming the police but she’s asking for more help for her community.

"We called 9-1-1 as a non-urgent emergency several times just to see when someone will be out here to help us. No one actually came until 1:23," said Harris.

It was Easter Sunday, close to 9 at night when Harris says her cousin was driving and hit at the intersection of Hobson and Hamilton Church by an alleged drunk driver.

"Thankfully nothing happened to anybody but someone was sitting in the middle of that intersection for five hours," Harris said.

Harris says she arrived at the scene to wait with her cousin so she didn’t have to wait for the police alone, but they had no clue they would be waiting for as long as they did.

Harris says response time in the Antioch area is typically a few hours wait and people are taking notice.

"We noticed that the other driver was still sitting in his vehicle in the middle of the intersection. And we were really concerned because traffic on this intersection, they are fast they don’t stop."

According to the Metro Department of Emergency Communications, Director Stephen Martini, the first call came in at 8:52 p.m.

The public safety telecommunicator assigned to dispatching the South Police Radio Sector advised the on-duty MNPD Sgt. of the call at 8:57:49 p.m., noting no officers were available to respond. At that point, this call held for an available patrol officer to become available to respond to the incident.

The MNDEC received several calls regarding this incident, two from individuals involved in the incident, at 8:52 p.m. and 8:56 p.m. We received additional calls from passersby at 9:13 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.

At 11:15 p.m., the original caller contacted the MNDEC via 9-1-1 requesting the estimated time of arrival of an officer.

At 11:39:03 p.m., the public safety telecommunicator assigned to dispatch the South Police Radio Sector advised the midnight shift MNPD Sgt. of the holding call, needing an officer to be dispatched.

The MNDEC then received calls from the original caller and a second caller requesting estimated arrival times at 12:04 a.m., at which point our public safety telecommunicator advised the midnight shift Sgt. of the pending call at 12:07:46 a.m.

The MNDEC received two more calls requesting arrival times for an officer at 12:09 a.m., and 1:03 a.m., at which point the caller requested an MNPD Sergeant call her directly, which was relayed by MNDEC to the MNPD at 1:07 a.m.

Metro Nashville Police Department says on Sunday night by 9, South Precinct had just 13 officers working with 15 pending calls including a domestic stabbing.

Even with help from the Precision Policing Unit it still wasn’t enough officers adding just five more to help with the load.

"I support our police, I’m very proud of our police and all of our emergency workers. It just seems to me like we need more attention than what we’re getting," said Harris.

A spokesperson for MNPD says the department doesn’t want anyone to have to wait for help regardless of the crime.

But more serious crimes to take precedent – something Harris says she understands she just wants to speak out in hopes of change.

"I just think that we don’t have enough resources in Antioch and where we’re at," she said.

MNPD will be adding a 9th police precinct with an additional 100 officers.