They are here to protect and serve. But, neighbors in one southwest Bakersfield community are scrutinizing police after a loud house party turned violent.
"There was like 50 people, not including what you couldn't see in the house," said Tamara Prestridge.
Neighbors say the wild party lasted all night. "We heard arguing and after we heard fighting out here in the streets," said Edward Aguirre.
Just after 11 p.m. Thursday, neighbors dialed 911. But, they say police never showed up. "It's a very serious issue when you don't have officers responding to serious matters that we know are going to escalate," continued Aguirre.
Just after 3 a.m. Friday, neighbors heard gunshots. "Once I heard gunshots, I picked up the phone and called 911," said Prestridge.
Police officers arrived less than two minutes later. "There actually had to be gunfire for them to come out, and even at that point they had to respond somewhere else," said Aguirre.
The party didn't end there. "I heard a big bang and came outside and a car had hit my neighbor's car," said Prestridge.
Neighbors called 911. Officers showed up four hours later to tow away the smashed up car. "I feel they should have been here a whole lot quicker," said Prestridge.
Bakersfield Police receive about 800 calls for service every day. "Our calls are prioritized. We have a total of nine priorities, which rate from a priority one call, someone's life is being threatened, down to various report calls," said Sgt. Joe Grubbs.
There were four police units on duty Thursday night on the west side of town. The officers responded to 34 calls between 9 p.m. Thursday and 4 a.m. Friday.
"When we're dealing with people whose lives are being threatened or who are in imminent danger those take priority. We send officers to the most important calls first. Sometimes we're busy and barely keeping up with things. Sometimes it's slow and we can get to things more quickly," continued Grubbs.