Victoria police said Friday afternoon that they are experiencing a backlog of calls, with some people waiting more than 50 hours for an officer to attend.
VicPD posted a video on Twitter showing 58 calls as of 1:15 p.m. waiting in the queue for an available officer to respond.
Const. Cam MacIntyre said 30 to 50 calls waiting is not abnormal, but nearly 60 calls is high for the department.
He said the backlog of calls Friday is likely the result of the large number of officers who responded to an incident Thursday afternoon when a suspect in an investigation into an assault barricaded himself in a residential suite.
“Those require an immense amount of officers for a prolonged period of time. And what we see is in those periods, because we only have so many people working, when officers are tied up … the calls keep coming in and they build up,” MacIntyre said.
The department is trying to keep people aware of what officers are dealing with to manage expectations, he said.
“People are understandably disappointed when we’re showing up to their break-and-enter or theft from vehicle or other non-high priority call two, three days later,” he said.
There are nearly 60 calls waiting in our queue for an available officer. Many calls holding for over 50 hrs. We are also at 2 separate protests to ensure safety. We are working hard in the heat to respond to everyone & will be there as soon as we are able. #YYJ #YYJQueue pic.twitter.com/H7LtbKcADI— Victoria Police (@vicpdcanada) July 30, 2021
Despite the long wait times for a response, MacIntyre encourages people to report incidents so police can track trends and identify areas where more resources may be needed. Some reports can be made online.
Calls that involve a risk to safety and emergencies take priority and receive a response as quickly as possible, MacIntyre said.
The calls are initially received by E-Comm, a 911 communications network that takes a caller’s information and report. The information from those calls then goes into a queue for an officer to attend when available.