DALLAS — The mother of 25-year-old Zarea Dixon is calling for a change in response times for the Dallas Police Department. Earlier this year, on Feb. 24, Dixon called police to the Spring Ridge II Apartments in Oak Cliff after her ex-boyfriend, Tahj Pinson, broke into her home. Following that call, he allegedly killed her. It was a call for help it took police more than 75 minutes to respond to.  

“I want understanding, I want justice,” Green said. “What will make y’all take that long to get to my baby?”

Dixon, who was born deaf, used a translator service to call 911 just before 3 p.m. The emergency call was labeled as a Priority 2 response. According to the Dallas Police Department, Priority 2 calls so far this year have averaged about 44 minutes, but the department’s goal is to be under 12 minutes. On February 24, the department said, all of their available patrol units were responding to other calls when Dixon’s plea came in. 

“On a domestic violence call they should have made it within the time they were supposed to make it there, and maybe my baby will still be alive,” said Green.

After calling for help, Dixon texted her mother saying the police were on their way, but little did they know it would take more than an hour for the police to respond. When officers arrived, they found Dixon deceased with bruises all over her face and neck. Pinson was later arrested and charged with murder for Dixon’s death. Green says she also wants the police department to be held accountable, too. 

Zarea Dixon (on left) with mother, Kim Green (on right) (courtesy of Kim Green)

“She came into this world trying to get people to understand her and she left this world trying to get people to understand her, and they didn’t take [note] of that, they didn’t care,” said Green. 

The associate dean for Tarleton State University School of Criminology, Dr. Alex Del Carmen, says no matter the circumstances it shouldn’t have taken police so long to respond. 

“In my view, it is unacceptable that a high priority call would take so long to respond to in any jurisdiction in the United States,” said Dr. Del Carmen.

With the ongoing shortage of officers and dwindling police budgets, Dr. Del Carmen thinks slow response times may be a worsening problem not only in Dallas, but across the United States.  

“I’m afraid what is going to happen in the coming years is we’re going to see a shortage of police personnel across the United States in historical proportions,” said Dr. Del Carmen.