Richmond 911 caller claims she got the run around

Posted at 8:31 PM, Jul 29, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Richmond resident Normal Gardezi said a recent experience has shaken her trust in public safety.

"It's vitally important, I mean it can be a matter of life and death to me," Gardezi said. "I'm almost 60 years old and this is the first 911 call that I've ever had to be put on hold."

As confirmed by Henrico Police dispatch records and Gardezi's own cell phone logs, Sunday around noon Gardezi called 911 from inside her home on Chamberlayne Avenue. She placed the call after several men passing by became aggressive with her in front of her home while she was doing yard work.

She said the men continued to circle the home and said she went inside because she felt unsafe.

"When I call 911 I always reach Henrico, but I live in Richmond," said Gardezi.

Gardezi lives on the Henrico line just before Azelea Avenue. Police said it's possible her cell phone connects to a Henrico tower. But when it does, Henrico answers the call and said they have to transfer the call back to Richmond.

"Then when I got a hold of Richmond, I went on hold. They said they would answer my phone call in the in the number it was received," said Gardezi.

Richmond Police said as part of a new call system, they do have an automated prompt that helps narrow phone traffic when volume is high. But they said wait times should only be a matter of seconds.

"Somebody needs to be there to answer the call, it's a matter of life and death not just for me but for anybody that calls that number," Gardezi said.

Richmond Police urged people not to hang up when they hear the automated voice because a dispatcher will take the call as soon as possible.