Woman waits 18+ hours for NOPD to respond to hit-and-run - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Woman waits 18+ hours for NOPD to respond to hit-and-run

The hit-and-run caused $14,000 in damage to the victim's SUV. (Source: Robin Borne) The hit-and-run caused $14,000 in damage to the victim's SUV. (Source: Robin Borne)
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

A hit-and-run victim feels her pleas for help were tossed aside after it took NOPD nearly a day to get to the crime scene at her Mid-City home.

"We called around five that afternoon and [officers] didn't arrive until the next day at 11:30 a.m.," Robin Borne said.

Borne and other witnesses to the crime waited the 18-and-a-half hours to give their statement after someone sideswiped her car and took off on Oct. 3.  

"Between that evening and that morning, I'd say I called about a total of six times, and you could just hear the frustration on their end of kind of saying that it didn't sound like I was a priority," Borne said.

Her story is becoming more common in recent years after FOX 8's Lee Zurik and our partners at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune highlighted the slow response times. The investigation revealed NOPD response times escalated from an average of 13 minutes in 2012 to 73 minutes this year.

NOPD Chief Michael Harrison blames the wait on a lack of manpower and says the officers he does have are dealing with more violent crimes that take more time.

"At end of the day, we just have to make sure we have enough officers to respond and respond quickly," Orleans Councilman Jason Williams said.   

Williams and other council members are kicking around an idea of having non-police officers respond to non-violent traffic accidents to shorten response times.

"Council Vice President Stacy Head has been working on that for a number of years now," he said. "I think we've got to push that even faster now because we don't have enough officers and we won't get enough officers anytime soon."

But the idea of having someone other than an officer take down a report could cause an even bigger legal problem, according to FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti.

"This is a real opportunity to be a real mess going forward, because whether or not they take these people's written report as a police report that is recognized by the courts and recognized by the insurance companies remains to be seen, and if they're not, they're worthless," Raspanti said.
   
Raspanti also said response delays raise red flags about the integrity of a crime scene.  

"We don't know what kind of problems this is going to get to," he said. "But this is not going to be good for the people here. It's going to raise your insurance even further. It's going to make it even more difficult to live in this dysfunctional city."

Borne said the responding officers did not mention anything about the wait nor did they apologize.

"It would be wonderful if we could be like other American cities where taxpayers receive better response times," Borne said.

The hit-and-run caused $14,000 in damage to her SUV. She has yet to hear from the officers about the incident.

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