Police Shortage Puts Crime Deterrence in the Spotlight

The FBI notes a rise in property crime with NBC reporting a police shortage. Pro-Vigil stresses proactive security messages like remote video monitoring to protect assets.
Automated alert the police

According to the FBI, property crime has risen for the first time in decades. This comes amid a nationwide shortage in police officers. The staffing challenges of police departments are well known, in part due to items like the recent report on NBC’s Nightly News. According to that report, the Department of Justice is calling the current police shortage a “historic crisis.” 

The Los Angeles (L.A.) Police Chief, who was featured in the NBC report, said the time to respond to non-emergency calls has tripled, from roughly 20 minutes to more than an hour. It makes sense, because police need to prioritize murders, assaults and other critical and violent crimes above non-violent and less-urgent property crimes.

While that report focused in large part on the L.A. Police Department, it noted that the police staffing shortage is a nationwide phenomenon. Most large cities in the U.S. have experienced unprecedented declines in police staffing, due to officers leaving the force faster than they can be replaced.

For organizations subject to property crimes, this raises several issues. The first of which is the aforementioned increase in police response times. The other major issue is that there are simply fewer police officers around, so criminals do not feel as encumbered to ply their trade. This makes it no surprise that property crimes have increased, a trend we observed in our 2024 State of Physical Security Report.

Protect Against Property Crime

At Pro-Vigil, we’ve always considered calling local police to be a last resort. First, we try to frustrate intruders by providing active crime prevention through audio and visual deterrents. It is far preferable to scare off a criminal before they have a chance to do damage, than it is to call the police. There are not only safety considerations, but often the police can’t arrive before damage has already been done. As that NBC report shows, by the time officers arrive, it is almost certainly too late.

Given the police shortage, it has never been more important for businesses and other organizations to protect themselves from property crimes. With the police in crisis, it is unlikely that they will be able to help when the time comes. And, for customers who have already subscribed to remote video monitoring services like those offered by Pro-Vigil, it is important to let deterrents do their work and not to tamper with them. It is better to take steps to optimize the system’s accuracy than it is to turn down or off the deterrents. To find out how to optimize your Pro-Vigil system, contact Pro-Vigil now.

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