Tampa Bay Mother Holds Intruder
(Photo by Pixabay.com)

It might be cliche to say that when seconds count, police are minutes away, but quite often it’s true. It was especially true for a Tampa Bay mother who had to wait 26 minutes for police arrive after dialing 911.

A little before 1 a.m., the woman saw a suspicious person on her property, according to WFLA. So, she dialed 911 at 12:41 a.m. to report the incident. Shortly later, she noticed her mini-pig had its nose on the ground, and she realized someone might be inside her garage. She grabbed her gun and entered the garage and saw a man a short distance away. She immediately dialed 911 again at 12:54 a.m., and told the dispatcher she had a gun on the suspect. Additionally, she told the dispatcher she had called 10 minutes before.

During this incident, the mother of four also called a neighbor, whose husband headed over with his own gun. The neighbor also called police to let them know her armed husband had entered the situation.

“I want to make sure the cops know my husband went over there with a gun over there to protect her,” said Melodie Nieves to dispatch.

Police finally arrived at 1:07 a.m. to take the suspect, identified as Devin Cooke, into custody and transported him to a for a mental health facility for evaluation. Once released, police plan to charge Cooke with burglary.

Response Time for Tampa Bay Mother

Around the country, police do the best they can with resources, typically responding to numerous calls everyday; police can’t be everywhere. Still in this case, the response time was shockingly slow. The Hillsborough County, where Tampa is located, reports the average response time for a suspicious person is 10 minutes, 31 seconds; the time for this incident was 26 minutes. For a burglary call, the response time is just over six minutes, but here police arrived in 13 minutes.

For calls of all kinds, the national average response time is about 10 minutes. This means, though, some responses take longer while others are shorter. Some of this comes from prioritization; police respond quicker to calls involving dangerous situations, such as a shooting. Other factors include size of county and the number of calls. Regardless of intent, police can’t respond if otherwise occupied, and distances can greatly increase time, even with lights and sirens.

Pasco County holds an average record overall in response time, meaning there is no better argument for having the means and wherewithal for protecting one’s life.

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