Local News


Man upset about police response time to burglary

Posted at 12:30 AM, Jan 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-26 10:59:31-05
A Mountain's Edge resident is upset about the police response time to a burglary in his home. 
Action News cameras were the only ones there when detectives arrived at Michael Prescott's house after a break-in more than two hours after Prescott called 911.  The 2 and 1/2 hour response time has to do with how calls are prioritized, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
The call was designated a lower priority because the crime had already occurred, police said. 
Prescott and his 4-year-old daughter came home to find the house ransacked last Friday. The suspect or suspects broke into Prescott's home by smashing a door.
The father made four calls for help starting at 9:22 p.m. Police arrived at the home at 11:52 p.m.
"I mean, what does it take?" asked Prescott. "Do you have to physically see the bad guy doing the bad deed to get somebody out here?"
Action News asked police to explain how patrol officers are dispatched to crimes. 
Officers are dispatched as soon as possible when a crime is in progress or a life is in imminent danger, explained Officer Lawrence Hadfield.  
However, dispatch did not believe that was the case here. 
Prescott told dispatch in the first 911 call, "I don't even know if someone is still in the house, I ran outside."
At that point, the call was designated a lower priority because the crime had already taken place, police said. 
"The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department receives approximately 1.2 million 911 calls a year," said Officer Hadfield. "We have to prioritize based on facts and circumstances that are presented to our call takers."
Prescott told Action News he could see and hear people were still inside his house, but it was unknown whether dispatch knew that.
"There's a problem, the system is broken, and it needs to be fixed," he said. "The question is are we going to fix it?"
The father's sense of security was also shattered.  
"It's a felony, it's a burglary," he said. "It has all the hostilities ... to be extremely explosive."
There will soon be more cops on the streets. County Commissioners passed a sales tax last summer to help pay for it.