Memphis father says delayed 911 response time put his family at risk

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The shortage of Memphis police officers could put you in danger, just like the family of Michael Mosby.

The father of four said a slow response from Memphis police left his family vulnerable during a break-in.

Records showed it took officers an hour and a half to get to his home.

His newborn son is just one week old. On Saturday, he was home with his mom while Mosby, his dad, was out.

"I called and checked on my wife a lot. I heard her saying somebody was trying to break into the house," Mosby said.

He rushed home and on the way called 911. So did his wife; phone records showed she called at 4:45 p.m.

"When I got home the police were not there," Mosby said.

So he called dispatch back.

"She said they're dealing with an emergency. I said, 'Hold on, isn't this an emergency? There are people in the house. My children are in the house,'" Mosby said.

Police told WREG they arrived at 6:15 p.m., an hour and a half after Mosby and his wife first called 911.

Officers told him the department doesn’t have enough officers to cover the whole city.

"As he explained to me, they're strapped," Mosby said.

Mayor Jim Strickland and Director Mike Rallings have both focused on this problem. They're trying to recruit more officers and re-build the force.

But while they do that, families like Mosby’s are put at risk.

"Anything could've happened in that hour and a half," he said.

MPD Lt. Karen Rudolph said of the incident:
"I spoke with Communications and was advised that the first call was received at 4:46 p.m. The caller advised that a male was attempting to break into her home by pulling on the air conditioner, but the suspect had since fled. A second call was received at 4:47 p.m., from a male who advised that his wife and children were at home and that someone was trying to break in to the residence. When these calls were received, all officers were on calls. At 4:49 p.m., Communications issued a broadcast throughout the precinct advising of the situation. At 5:05 p.m., a third call was received from one of the original callers. The male caller advised that he had arrived at his home and was requesting on the officers whereabouts and confirmed that the suspect was no longer on the scene. At 6:06 p.m., officers became available for service and was dispatched to the location. At 6:18 p.m., officers arrived on the scene.

During this same time period, officers were handling various calls such as a man down call, two criminal assaults, and a shooting call where a female was assaulted."

WREG also submitted a public records request for the recording of Mosby's wife's 911 call.