D.C. woman put on hold after calling 911

WASHINGTON – A D.C. woman says she was put on hold after calling 911 when an intruder entered her Northwest home, NBC 4 reports.

Kathleen Burke says she initially heard a recorded hold message when she called, right after fighting off the intruder and chasing him out of the house.

It’s not clear what happened with the 911 call. Burke tells NBC 4 that she contacted D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser to follow up on the incident.

However, Burke says police did respond quickly once the call went through.

D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells is voicing concern, saying he aims to pry answers from the administration.

“What happened is unacceptable,” says Wells who chairs the judiciary and public safety committee.

“I don’t want any citizen to be in that type of crisis and to be put on hold for that period of time. It really is disturbing to me.”

Wells is reaching out to Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Paul Quander to review the situation and take steps to rectify any outstanding issues at the District’s call center.

“I need to find out if there is a problem at the call center and what steps we are going to take to correct it,” explains Wells. “If the problem is staffing or training, that’s what I want to know. If they need money, they need to let me know that. The weak link here was in answering the call at 911.”

District police are looking into other robberies in Northwest D.C., and urge residents to lock their doors.

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