Woman waits for 40 minutes for police to send response despite high-priority call

Posted at 6:32 PM, May 30, 2017

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Saturday morning, Debbie Rawlins and her three-month-old daughter were woken up by a stranger loudly knocking on her door and shouting "money" in Spanish.

“If he gets through nobody else is here and he can get to my daughter,” said Rawlins.

She immediately dialed 911 and started getting ready to fight the would-be intruder, but hoped she wouldn't have to because help was on the way.

"I was very confident that someone was going to be here, but the fact that they weren't -- I started shrinking,” said Rawlins.

The man suddenly left, but Rawlins says what was even more terrifying for her is that Lakewood police still didn't show up. After 40 minutes, she canceled the call.

Steve Davis, with the Lakewood Police Department, told Denver7 Tuesday that calls that come into their dispatch center are ranked from one to nine.  

“That kind of a delay is certainly unusual, but yes, it does happen,” said Davis.

Rawlins' call was a priority-two call that police would have typically responded to in four minutes and 50 seconds, but they didn't because officers were tied up on two priority-one calls involving guns.

“You've got calls that just happen to line up at the same time and they eat up all your resources. It's fact and it does happen,” said Davis

Rawlins says Saturday morning’s late response makes her uneasy.  

"I'm very angry. I trusted that somebody was going to be here. Is this going to happen again? Can I rely on police?” she wondered.