Police Response to Serious Incidents

Public Safety

Police Department

Target: 4:00 minutes (240 seconds)

Result: 5min:28sec (328 seconds)

When someone calls 9-1-1 to report a crime in progress or a serious medical emergency, such as a shooting or stabbing, he or she expects a timely response by Police. These calls for service are classified as Priority A, or calls in response to "serious incidents": emergency calls that require an immediate response because there may be an immediate threat to life or a substantial risk of major property loss or damage.


How the Police Department is Performing

There has been a 38 percent increase in the number of Priority A calls for service in San Francisco over the past six years. In 2009, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) responded to 59,037 dispatched Priority A calls for in average response time of 3 minutes and 49 seconds. Six years later, in 2015, officers responded to 81,342 dispatched Priority A calls for service in an average of 4 minutes and 59 seconds. The 38 percent increase in the number of Priority A calls for service is a major factor in the increase of approximately 70 seconds in the average police response to Priority A calls over the six year period. 

The SFPD has experienced a large number of officer retirements in recent years and is projecting a significant number of annual retirements over the next two-to-three years. To address attrition, the City has adopted a multi-year hiring plan that includes five Police Academy classes of 50 recruits in fiscal year (FY) 2015-16 and three classes in FY 2016-17. This will result in a total of 400 new police officers being hired over the next two fiscal years to backfill retirements and bring the number of full-duty, sworn staff to the Charter-mandated 1,971 by June 2017, a full year ahead of schedule. This plan will cost $10.6 million in FY 2015-16 and an additional $11.0 million in FY 2016-17.

How Performance is Measured

This measure represents the average time from the dispatch of a Priority A call to the responding officer’s notification that he or she has arrived on scene. Priority "A" calls are those emergency and in-progress requests for service received by the Department of Emergency Management and dispatched to police officers.

Note: In October 2017, a new data source from the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) was employed to ensure the accuracy of response time data. In April 2018, a new methodology for determining the dispatch-to-on-scene time was employed to increase accuracy and standardize metrics across departments. The historical data in the chart above may have changed slightly as a result.

The number displayed on the scorecard page represents a fiscal-year-to-date average of the chart above.

Additional Information

Visit the San Francisco Police Department website.


Please visit DataSF for the scorecard data.