FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The Flint Police Department has announced it's working on new tactics to cut down on response times after a recent report said average waits had climbed to nearly an hour for city residents.

The department announced on Thursday that it's working to establish a new intelligence operations center in an effort to lessen response times, the Flint Journal reported .

Police plan to use the center to analyze the city's crime trends and assist administrators to best allocate existing resources with the police ranks.

The efforts are in response to a September story by the newspaper that revealed response times for priority-one 911 calls had grown from about 21 minutes in January to about 58 minutes by July. Less-serious 911 calls had average response times that ranged from 22 minutes to 18 hours between January and July.

Dispatchers categorize priority-one calls as the most serious situations and include shootings, stabbings, domestic violence and other critical requests for help.

"The effects of the loss of hundreds of police positions over the last several years is clearly observable in our response times," said Devon Bernritter, the department's deputy chief. "We have already, and will continue to request more officers for the City of Flint Police Department. To date, these requests have not been filled."

Some early returns have shown some success in the center's use with response times reduced to 24 minutes so far in October, Bernritter said.

The center is expected to be fully operating in the coming weeks.

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Information from: The Flint Journal, http://www.mlive.com/flint