Woman Claims 911 Dispatcher Told Her To Wake Up Sleeping Intruder Because Police Were 'Busy'

That's exactly what not to do

911 call Skrypnykov Dmytro / Shutterstock.com

A woman in Winnipeg, Canada, is questioning the training given to emergency services dispatchers after she found a sleeping intruder in her home.

While the intruder was asleep, Angela Chalmers called 911 in order to get the police over to her house and take care of the intruder, but the police told her to do something else instead.

The Winnipeg police dispatcher allegedly told the woman to wake up the intruder.

Shortly before 7 a.m. around June 18th, Chalmers woke up to the sound of her dog, Loki, growling and barking at the top of her stairs.


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"I came down to see what it was that he was barking at, and I walked halfway down the stairs and there was a strange man lying right here on my couch," Chalmers told CBC News. "It was terrifying."

Chalmers quietly went back upstairs and alerted her roommate.

The pair barricaded themselves in a room upstairs and called 911 while hiding in a closet, but were told that the police couldn’t come right away.

"They said that the police were really busy and would we mind going downstairs and waking him up ourselves?" she said.


Chalmers did in fact, mind, and so she and her roommate waited around 20 minutes for the police to finally show up and deal with the intruder.

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When they arrived, she and her roommate ran out of the house and let the police in to deal with the strange man.

“It took four officers to get the man out of her home after he woke up and became aggressive,” reported CBC News.

The Winnipeg police claim that the incident is under review.

Kelly Dehn, director of public affairs for the Winnipeg Police Service, announced in an email statement that the response times of the police can vary based on the time of day, the resources available, and the severity of the circumstance.


In this case, she said that the call was appropriately dispatched in a timely manner.

A police spokesperson also said they would typically advise callers not to approach a person, as that could easily put their safety at risk.

"A person would be advised to exit the building or residence until police arrival," said Const. Claude Chancy in an email.

Chalmers claims that the officers apologized for the delay, but she was worried about the precedent it sets for other people who may have been in her situation.

"I wasn't harmed, nothing was taken, it worked out okay this time, but had I been someone else … and took that 911 operator's horrible recommendation, that could have ended completely differently," she said.


No one was harmed during this encounter, but hopefully, the police review will help law enforcement figure out a way to efficiently dispatch help in the future without telling people to wake their intruders.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.