CHICAGO (WBBM) – At their latest budget meeting, Chicago aldermen were expressing frustration at the way 911 emergency calls are handled.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports

Aldermen, like the West Side’s Deborah Graham, say the biggest complaint from constituents is how long it takes for police to answer 911 calls.

Graham told Office of Emergency Management and Communications director Jose Santiago that she asked the police superintendent about response time.

Santiago said it’s not his personnel at OEMC who decide which calls are handled fastest. He says the Police Department sets the priorities and procedures for OEMC to follow.

The aldermen were most unhappy to hear of the two agencies blaming each other.

South Side Alderman Leslie Hairston spoke of some 5th Ward residents who called 911 while burglars were actually inside their home, but she says it took half an hour for police to arrive.

No one was hurt. But, Hairston says, response also was slow the next day when the victims called after spotting their stolen car being driven by an offender.

Santiago also fielded complaints from aldermen about the lack of contracts given to African-American owned companies and difficulties calling the 311 non-emergency number.

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