Staffing levels for the Wheat Ridge Police department depend on a variety of variables. Each shift is staffed based upon an analysis of crime statistics on a yearly basis; average response times to emergency calls and call saturation predictions. This is balanced with other programs requiring staffing- criminal investigations; school resource officers; etc.
Statistically, the WRPD dispatch center answers approximately 200,000 phone calls per year. Of the calls received, officers are dispatched to nearly 50,000 calls for service and officers generate another 50,000 police events. Many times our call load exceeds the number of officers available to respond immediately. Therefore we must prioritize calls for service.
In general, we are fortunate that we are able to respond to true emergency calls within three minutes. These are obviously our first priority. Other calls are divided in three additional categories of varying priority. All calls are dispatched according to where they fall within this prioritization (based upon all calls holding at any given time period). This is a dynamic process- a call which maybe the first to be dispatched at one moment, then may fall to 4-5 within seconds depending on what new calls come to the dispatch center.
Generally, calls are prioritized based upon 1) the gravity of the offense (what type of crime is being committed), 2) the urgency of action ( is someone being hurt or is someone is in danger) and 3) Probability of apprehension (are the perpetrators still at the location). This is the same basis used for assigning follow-up investigations. Many times a single event (especially vandalism or car break-ins) is not "cleared" by catching the suspects while they are committing the crime. Often we have to conduct an analysis of many separate events, using pieces of information learned from each of these events, to make a criminal case. We employ two analysts to assist with this task. Unfortunately, the clearance rate for these types of crimes is not high, either in Wheat Ridge or other parts of the country. The Wheat Ridge Police Department strongly encourages you to report all incidents to us so we can examine all the pieces as outlined above. If an officer has not followed-up with you as promised, we encourage you to contact the shift supervisor thru our dispatch center 303-237-2220.