Milwaukee man’s 911 call goes unanswered for nearly 5 minutes

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee Police Department’s response time to 911 calls is causing concerns.

While a man was having a medical emergency near 22nd and Scott last week, an automated recording played from 911 for almost five minutes. 

The neighbor who made the call, Joseph Walker, says other people trying to call couldn’t get through either. 

They were all trying to help their neighbor who was having a stroke. 

The recording Walker heard every ten seconds said, “You have reached 911. Do not hang up. Your call will be answered in the order it was received.”

“I’m just freaking out, like why are they not answering?” Walker said. “And it’s minute after minute.”

Tired of waiting, Walker says he drove to a nearby fire station to get help.

“I had the hazard sign on, I was beeping the horn, making people aware so I don’t hit anybody,” Walker said. “I even had to jump a curb.”

Someone on the other end of the phone finally picked up when he got back.

In response to what happened, MPD gave CBS 58 a statement that said:

“The Milwaukee Police Department has come extremely far in rebuilding trust with our community. Incidents like these concern us, therefore we will determine what occurred.”

“We need them to show up in an emergency,” Walker said. “My kid just turned 18. If it’s my kid in the street I can’t depend on 911.”

Walker says his neighbor survived the stroke and is recovering.


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