Milwaukee Police take 4 hours to respond to burglary call

CREATED Sep 22, 2011

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MILWAUKEE - A woman says she waited nearly four hours for Milwaukee Police to show up after her home was robbed, despite the fact that she thought the intruder might still be inside.

The woman, identified as Becky, came home at 11:45pm last weekend.  She discovered her home had been ransacked and she feared the intruder was still inside.

The woman fled to a neighbor's house and called 911.  Thirty minutes passed, and no police.  She called 911 again.  Still nothing.

She claims she called police three more times.  They finally showed up nearly four hours later.

"I'm pissed off," Becky told me.  "I have lived in the city of Milwaukee for 31 years.  I have two properties.  I pay taxes."

"We're the people you want to live in the city."

Hear John's conversation with Becky on WTMJ's Wisconsin's Afternoon News

Police say it was a busy Saturday night, but acknowledge the incident was handled poorly. 

"Unfortunately, it's not uncommon that sometimes we do exceed our resource capacity," Capt. Gary Gacek said.  "But in this case, a 3.5 hour wait time for a residential burglary is unacceptable."

"We can do better and we will do better."

Hear John's conversation with Capt. Gacek

Becky admits the situation has prompted her to consider moving out of Milwaukee.

"For the first time in our marriage, we sat down with tears rolling down our faces," Becky said.  "My husband asked me, 'Do you want to move?'"

"This is the first time I've ever thought about it."

The incident has prompted the department to review how they handle 911 calls.