A recent audit of area law enforcement response times was critical of one agency, but San Marino’s police and fire chiefs independently told The Tribune that such is certainly not the case in these parts.
“Our response times for Priority One response calls are excellent,” said San Marino Police Chief Tim Harrigan, who stated that his officers arrive on the scene in an average of one minute and fifty-nine seconds after summoned. Priority One calls are “any 911 call,” according to Harrigan. “A traffic accident, burglary in process, robbery in progress, assault. Any type of what we would call a crime or emergency occurring now.”
“That is an average, so not all responses are that fast,” he said.
Priority 2 calls – “calls that are not an emergency, something like ‘I came home and found a bicycle had been stolen from my garage. It’s not an emergency, but I need an officer here now’” averaged three-and-a-half minutes, according to the Chief.
“These times are outstanding,” Harrigan said. “Our officers do a great job. Because of the excellent working relationship we have with the fire department, [the police] respond on all fire calls. A police officer is sometimes the first to respond to medical calls since we are often out on patrol.”
Harrigan saluted San Marino’s citizens and city council, which have “consistently supported us with the safety tax and helped maintain our staff and equip our officers with the best available equipment and technology. This allows us to record these incredible response times and allows us to provide safety while saving lives.”
Fire Chief Jim Frawley echoed his counterpart’s satisfaction, stating that the SMFD is “among the top in the entire Verdugo Dispatch System,” which includes twelve area communities.
“We are always first or second in response times, depending on the month or the number of calls we receive,” said Frawley, who claimed that fire and paramedic personnel average about four minutes – “sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more” – for both fire and emergency calls.
“I am extremely proud of our response times and the effort our firefighters put forth to get to people who need our help as quickly as possible,” Frawley said. “I am very pleased with our record.”
Frawley advises residents who are calling from a landline to use 911, which will for all residents will ring to a San Marino line. he went on to say that he encourages residents to plug the 300-0720 phone number, which rings at the San Marino Police Department dispatcher’s extension, into their cell phones.
“Cell phones have gotten better, but if you are routed off a different cell tower, it might hit another tower and go to a different department, especially if you are located on the perimeter of the city,” Frawley said. “It’s always good to have that number available.”
Frawley also touted the city council for keeping his department well-stocked with the latest technology and life-saving equipment.
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