St. Louis woman negotiates with intruder while on hold for 911

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis woman is sharing her frustrations over a frightening experience from Sunday night. She estimates she was on hold with a voice recording for several minutes after calling 911 for help.

“There’s no way a human voice should not be answering a 911 call,” she said.

We are not identifying the woman at her request because she is the victim of a crime. She made the emergency call because an intruder entered her gated yard Sunday night and was trying to make his way into her home.

She tells FOX 2 she negotiated with the intruder through a glass door to her home. The victim described the intruder as appearing “out of it” and remained outside the door.

The victim estimates eight minutes passed before her 911 call was answered. She said when police arrived, they deescalated the situation and discovered the suspect had a sharp knife.

“I’m glad everything turned out the way it had, but it’s time to take action,” said the victim.

The city’s 911 woes are no secret. We’ve reported on past delays and efforts to make improvements.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said this during an August media briefing, “St. Louis deserves an emergency response system that functions and works for them. That’s why my administration is working to bring some needed fixes to our 911 system. We recognize it’s a problem that’s been festering for years and will not be fixed overnight.”

Part of the city’s plans to improve the 911 system includes consolidating 911 centers to reduce the chances of a bottleneck of calls from happening at one time.

65% of 911 calls are currently answered within 10 seconds, according to a city spokesperson.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department reports it is working to gather more information about the hold time in this most recent case. A spokesperson also responded with a statement that reads, “The City is working actively to improve our 911 system through more hiring, technological upgrades, and restructuring.”

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