Big Investigation

Is five hours too long to wait for police when your business has been burglarized?

CREATED Sep 23, 2011 - UPDATED: Oct 13, 2011

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MILWAUKEE- Betty and her husband own a business on National Avenue. It's the place where some of their greatest dreams have come true. 13 months ago it was the scene of a nightmare. September 22, 2010 they went to open up the business at about 10:30am. It was a Wednesday morning.

Upon entering the building they discovered their back door had been kicked in. At 10:37am they called police and began to inspect the damage.  Betty discovered the exterior camera system had been disconnected. Nervously, Betty and her husband waited. An hour passed and Betty called Police District Two, where their business is located. She was told that it was a very busy day, but they were next on the list to have a squad sent to them.

Betty and her husband waited. One hour passed. Then two hours passed. When three hours had passed, Betty lost her patience. She called Mayor Tom Barrett's office. Nothing. She called the Fire and Police Commission. Still no squad. "I was beside myself," Betty recently told me. "I couldn't believe that it was the middle of a weekday and we couldn't get police to show up. I was being totally blown off."

As frustration built, time passed. "It was frustrating because we felt like we couldn't really clean up or get back to running our business, because we couldn't get police to come out and make their reports." Finally at 3:30 p.m. police arrived at their business. It was almost five hours to the minute after Betty first dialed 9-1-1.

"I never really got a good reason why it took so much time and so many phone calls," Betty reflects now. "I did get an apology, but I never got an explanation."