Crime victim says it took NOPD 18 hours to respond

Crime victim says it took NOPD 18 hours to respond

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "My initial thought was fear because I know I'm here, a single woman with my daughter and the babies," says Desiree Horton.

Desiree Horton opened the front door of her New Orleans East apartment Tuesday afternoon to find someone had broken in.

"The first thing I noticed was the big TV was gone. I checked the house to make sure nobody was in here. I then heard the blinds blowing in the back," says Horton.

The robber busted out the back sliding door to gain entry into the apartment, littering the home with glass. Horton says she picked up the phone and immediately called the NOPD's non-emergency line.

"That was about 2 o'clock to inform them about what happened," says Horton.

She says the dispatcher took her information and told her an NOPD officer would respond. Hours, though, went by, and Horton decided to call back.

"The next time I called was at 3:53 on yesterday. They said the same thing, 'as soon as we get an officer available, they'll be at your location,'" says Horton.

Still, no one responded. Horton decided to call again at 7:15 last night.

"After getting frustrated around 8 o'clock, I drove over to the district station. I spoke with Sgt. Jones there. Sgt. Jones basically informed me that my call was not an emergency, and that there was nothing they could do about it. He said to secure my house, and whenever there was an office available, that's when I would get an officer," says Horton.

Horton says with no back door and still fearing for their safety, her family spent the night huddled together on a mattress in the living room.

"So, I had to do a makeshift door after realizing there was nothing I could do to protect my family from the elements of the night or from the criminals who could have easily come back," says Horton.

She says an officer finally showed up at 8 a.m. Wedensday. That's 18 hours after her initial call to the NOPD.

"I asked them what happened to the protect-and-serve model. There is no service there. I didn't expect them to come rushing down, because I do understand there is a manpower shortage and I understand that there are more important crimes, however I did not anticipate my wait would be from 1:50 Tuesday till 8:10 this morning," says Horton.

FOX 8 reached out to the NOPD to find out what the average response time would be for a burglary call for service and why it took the NOPD so long to respond to this call. They responded:

"Seventh District units were dispatched to the woman's home twice during the evening shift. However, those units had be pulled to handle Code 2 priority calls and to provide backup to other officers.  With a building back log overnight and Code 2 priority calls, the call was held for the next available officer to address. The call was recognized by the ranking officer with the following daywatch patrol as holding from overnight, and a car was dispatched to the location.

"I unfortunately don't have numbers at this time regarding response times for robbery calls.

"As far as calling 911 versus the non-emergency line playing a factor in how the call is addressed, calls for service are addressed based on the respective urgency of the caller's situation." 

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