Response time

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.


Thanks for sharing and I’m sure glad it turned out to be nothing. I tell people we have to be our first defense for the same reason: When seconds count; the police are only minutes away.


@Brian139, fantastic post. Like yourself, we live in a rural area. We invited a sheriff deputy to our neighborhood meeting, and he shared exactly what you did. At any point in time they are relying on 2 deputies to cover 570 square miles, and in most cases expect a 12-15 minute response time. His message to us was crystal-clear: be prepared to take care of business and defend your family. On that day 8 years ago I decided to become a gun owner and get my concealed-carry permit. Since that time I’ve sent thousands of rounds downrange in practice and training. It’s not a knock at all on LEO’s. They are indeed a thin blue line, one that gets thinner with each passing day.


Glad everything worked out with a positive ending - I would have not entered you are a brave man


I live in the country had thieves roll through our neighbor hood last week. Multiple cars Broken into and a ruck stolen the police response time was around 35 minutes here. Now 3 days ago 2 miles from my home a home invaders killed a homeowner. Taken extra time to go over responses with. My family where and how to defend them selves in needed. Society is a wreck now plan plan plan practice practice practice. It sounds crazy but you may. It be home at the time and your family needs to be prepared.

7 Likes Home invasion 9-1-1 call must watch


That is a very powerful video/phone call and illustrates why we are all responsible for our own safety. 12 minutes from phone call to contact with police. Again, not a swipe at police, just the reality of how stretched our officers are.

Also, to @DavidM58, I am not brave, I made the call to take a look after careful review of many pieces of evidence, which included no motion on any of my external cameras, no motion detected by the indoor motion detectors, looking for any signs of anything out of the ordinary walking around the property (which i would not have done any of that if I had any indicators from other sources, and most importantly, on my walk around the house, I was able to see my dog through one of the windows and based on her actions, I did not see any indicators in her that there was anything or anyone out of the ordinary in the house. If I had a camera pick up someone around the house or if the motion detectors were activated, we would not have even gone up to the house.


That is the exact reason we must keep our family prepared, never know when trouble will show up at your door.


Wow this is absolutely nerve reckoning moments , Brian I was not being sarcastic -

Its easy to make a comment when we have no clue to the real life experience and how people will act in a moment of fear and uncertainly - I am one of those, The video is an eye wakening experience,

I can not confirm how I would act because I have never been in a situation of that type / Again I hope that I would do the right thing/ Practice and Real life are obviously very different


I just saw this video after the one that was posted


Only 1 year​:thinking::thinking: and probation for 7 yrs for assault and breaking and entering seems very light wonder why???

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I beg to differ sir. A 25 minute response time is atrocious in my humble opinion. Maybe to improve the Sheriffs department they might want to allocate more money to hire some more Deputies. I also live in a semi rural area outside of a medium North Florida city that is in the Sheriffs jurisdiction. I had a house alarm while visiting family members in Ohio. Before I could call them from there they called me in less that 2 minutes and were at my house within 5 minutes at 2:30 am. Don’t make excuses for them. All this during a thunderstorm. Which caused the false alarm to begin with.

wow that is why we must train and be aware i ask myself am i safe in my home i also live in the country u can bet it would take alittle while this is why i have the earliest warning i can get guys u are your own defense. thanks for sharing this vid as people we be relaxed in our surroundings

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As a retired deputy I worked a remote rural area. Depending on my location when I received a call the response time could have been two hours or more. If I was tied up on something they would have to call out a deputy from home which would have delayed response even more. I told residents that they should be prepared and I was always happy that most of them were armed and willing to help me out in a bad situation as my backup was usually a couple more hours away. Police officers want to help out and will get there as quickly as possible but you have to be prepared to take care of yourself.


My second duty station (1982-87) was a mixed-rural location 80 miles east of Los Angeles along I-10. 450 sq. mi. extending from the south end of Redlands to the north end of Palm Springs, into the mountains on both side of San Gorgonio Pass. I-10 was a HUGE help in compressing response times, but the fact remained we had 40 miles of distance as the crow flies between the far ends of our area. On Watch I (midnight to 8 A.M.), there were only 2 deputies and sometimes a sergeant on duty. In January 1997, we lost 2 deputies to a domestic violence perp that ambushed them as they approached his residence in a rural housing area (Whitewater).

So, YES–we do our best, but until we can arrive a citizen is on his or her own. I applaud anyone who recognizes this reality and takes positive steps to safeguard self and loved ones. During my time, I have handled both deputy- and citizen involved shootings and had occasion to project lethal force myself in 1981. This isn’t a rhetorical matter to me–it is starkly real and factual. FWIW–even in Kalifornistan, the land of fruits and huts, none of my citizens had ANY issues with criminal liability; one case was a fatal dispatch of a meth monster former boyfriend of a 22 year-old lady who installed 4 out of 6 shots fired from a K-38 with good effect. This monster several days earlier was engaged in a running gun battle with the Sheriff’s Department one county north near Victorville, and managed to get away clean. It happens, though uncommon.


Thank you officers, current and retired. I know why you are responding as you are, but I just want to reiterate that I am in no way trying to criticize the response time. I understand the realities of my rural living choice. I also think that the statements simply as fact are important to mention to try to get across to people regardless of urban, rural, apartment, house, you name it, 911 does not put help on site at the snap of your fingers.We are all responsible for our own safety. It is also why I called dispatch back. I understand how hard the officers work and how thin the sheriffs department is stretched. If I know things are ok, there is no reason for them to come by. That is potentially taking them off route from clear on the other side of the county or pulling them away from something more important than coming to my house only to be told, “oh, we are fine, we don’t need you now.”


Great advice. Well done.

That leaves a sick feeling in the gut. TG he was armed. I know I get really lax in my own home. Time to reassess.

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Today idiots are calling to defund. Things are going to get worse. Wow. Just wow.


I retired from a metro Atlanta police department about two years ago as a Captain in command of a patrol shift so I was responsible for compiling our daily stats for delivery to the Chief’s office. I was pleased when I saw a response to a priority two call (such as the OP described) as being under ten minutes. Now bear in mind I worked a city police department that was the fourth largest city in the Atlanta area and a less then ten minute response to an open door alarm call is good.

I say this to say, citizens MUST be able and willing to defend themselves. If an offender had been in the house when the OP got there, I am so pleased that he was able to defend his family. 25 minutes is a life time and I figure if it really went south and the deputy started running lights and sirens, you can cut that time in half. That is still an incredibly long time and it’s such a blessing that the OP was of the mindset and had the will to defend his family. Property can be replaced but a family member must not be lost.