LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) —   Officers with the LAPD tell CBS2 that in the event of an emergency, you might have a long wait.

It’s a story that is Only On 2.

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CBS2’s Randy Paige reports that many officers believe there aren’t enough of them to go around — especially in an emergency.

“The citizens need to know they need to be able to protect themselves because if they call 911, we can’t guarantee we’re going to get there in time to help you,” says Police Protective League President Jamie McBride.

He told Paige that Thursday morning between 5:30 and 10 a.m., there were just three patrol cars assigned to the West LA division. Two cars to protect more than 200,000 people in a 65 square mile radius.

“West Los Angeles, at the minimum, should have seven patrol units, two-man units working,” McBride said.

The lack of officers is not a comforting thought for West LA resident David Doucette, father of two small boys.

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“I want to make sure if I call they’re going to show up not 45 minutes later but within 10 minutes,” Doucette said.

He said he routinely sees cars patrolling but wouldn’t mind seeing more.

“I do see a lot of the cruisers around, see a lot of the SUVs around. So there’s definitely a presence on the west side,” he said.

The LAPD declined to respond to Paige on camera but Captain Andrew Neiman told him the numbers of patrol cars in service as reported by the Police Protective League are not accurate.

Neiman went on to say crime fighting units including the Metro division domestic violence division, community based policing, all have increased personnel backing up patrol units trying to stop crime before they result in a 911 call.

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The police union says responding to people in need should be a number one priority and that the LAPD should allocate enough overtime to guarantee minimum staffing levels in the event of an emergency.