Eugene police disregarded 1/3 of daily service calls

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Statistics show the Eugene Police Department disregarded one-third of the daily average service calls it received.

The Eugene Register-Guard reports Interim Police Director David James recently told city councilors the department did so because the calls were deemed low priority and no officer would be available — either immediately or hours later — to respond.

Figures from the police department also show that when police or 911 dispatch supervisors do respond to crime reports, it’s taking longer for officers to get to the scene.

Police officials attribute the decline in police service to there being too few officers on duty to respond to a growing number of calls for service.

Patrick Willis, the police union’s vice president, says the department’s officers “just can’t keep up with (the number of calls).”