Big Investigation with audio

'Becky' waited four hours for MPD despite fears that home invader was still inside her home

CREATED Sep. 22, 2011 - UPDATED: Oct. 11, 2011

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MILWAUKEE- On September 17th, a woman we're calling 'Becky' returned to her northwest side home at approximately 11:40pm. She discovered that her home had been broken into.  As she surveyed the damage, she feared that the home invader might still be inside.  Her dogs had been barricaded in the kitchen and the home was ransacked.

'Beck'y fled to a neighbor's home and called 9-1-1. It was now 11:45pm. She waited. Police did not show up. 45 minutes later she called again. 'Becky' claims she was scolded by the 9-1-1 dispatcher. She says she was told that it was a busy Saturday night and she should expect to wait a long time for police to show up.  "I was terrified and frustrated and didn't know what to do," 'Becky' told Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure.

'Becky's' fears began to escalate and panic began to set in. The dispatcher told her if she needed to call back again, to call the non-emergency number. As it turns out, she did need to call back again. She called back a third time, a fourth time, and a fifth time before police showed up. Finally at 3:30am, more than three and half hours after her initial call, police showed up to 'Becky's' home. "I was tired and worn out and completely at my wits end," 'Becky' says. "I pay taxes in this city and this is completely unacceptable."

I spoke with Milwaukee Police Captain Gary Gacek about the slow response time.  "It is unacceptable. We have apologized to her (Becky) and we will work to make sure this doesn't happen in the future," Gacek told me. I asked him if they were aware that 'Becky' believed an intruder might still have been in the home. Gacek told me that he had listened to the 9-1-1 tape and Becky did not make that clear to the dispatcher.  But interestingly enough, Gacek told me that the dispatcher failed to specifically ask about that, a violation of policy and protocol. I asked if the dispatcher had been disciplined and he said he did not know.

"This is why people are moving out of Milwaukee," 'Becky' told me.  "We have lived in this home for 16 years and for the first time we are considering leaving it. The thugs are the problem, but if we felt protected, perhaps we would not consider being yet another homeowner considering leaving this city."