I would like to share a story of something that happened to my wife and I over the weekend. Now, I am not advocating house clearing or anything of the sort. I simply wanted to share this story as an illustration of police response time. Now, I am very pro-law enforcement, and I am not knocking my local police departments. I know they are doing the best that they can. Also, keep in mind that I live in a rural area and the township does not have its own police department, we are protected by the county Sheriff who is a great guy running a great department. This is why every person needs to be prepared and take responsibility for themselves and their own safety and the safety of their family.
Saturday night my family and I were out and on our way home we got a call from our security company alerting us that our alarm had been activated, let us know what door it was etc. and asked if we would like the police to be notified. Of course, I told them yes, please send an officer. Call ended quickly then two minutes later I received a call from the county sheriff dispatch confirming the request from the security company. Talked with the dispatcher, told her that we were 12 minutes away, what we were driving, wearing, etc. We beat the officer to the house. Meanwhile, I was watching the cameras and the information given by our security system and our separate camera system. Based on that, I checked out the outside of the house, then based on all that data, chose to proceed into the house and check it out. Most will tell you do not go in the house and clear it. That is sound advice, but I also had the data from my cameras and motion detectors within the house to give me the probability that the house was in fact empty other than my crated dog. Checked the house, completely clear. Issue was the sliding glass door out onto the deck was unlocked. It was probably closed and not locked and I can imagine a million ways that would have happened. Change in pressure, AC kicking on, etc. could have shifted the door enough to trip it. I then called the Sheriff dispatch back 20 minutes later and told her what I had found. Keep in mind in the seven years we have lived in the house (and had the security system installed within the first month as you cant see the house from the road) we have never had an alarm, false, or otherwise. I let her know that we no longer needed a deputy to come by. She thanked me, and said that she will cancel the call, but not sure if the deputy would get the cancel call before he showed up. He ended up not showing up, which was completely fine.
Point is, in this situation, police response time was greater than 25 minutes. When things happen, they can happen fast. Police are reactionary and while they do the best they can, one has to have a reasonable expectation as to how fast they will be able to get there to assist. If it was a real situation, and we were home, one needs to be ready. The old adage is true, when seconds count, the police are minutes away. And while every area has its own dynamic that will have different response times, one needs to keep a reasonable expectation for how long it will take for the cavalry to get there, and if it is a real situation, will you even be able to call for help before the event is over?
Pay attention and be ready.