VALLEJO (KPIX 5) – Police in Vallejo on Wednesday admitted to making a serious mistake when it took a half an hour Tuesday night for officers to respond to a call about two unattended toddlers on a second-story window ledge.
The voice of Marianne Kearney-Brown can be heard in video she recorded Tuesday evening from the window of her downtown Vallejo office. She took the clip when she saw a couple of toddlers in diapers outside the second-story window of a nearby loft.
“Oh my god! Oh my god. Where are the police?” Kearney-Brown is heard saying in the video.
She quickly called police, but the response she got was anything but timely.
“And they were just out on the ledge and so I immediately grabbed my phone and called 911,” said Kearney-Brown.
But she said the dispatcher didn’t seem to have much of a sense of urgency.
“It seemed like help wasn’t going to be on the way,” said Kearney-Brown.
Five minutes ticked by, then ten with the children still precariously close to the edge.
“You see how high up it is,” she said, motioning to the ledge when she showed KPIX 5 cameras the building.
Kearney-Brown says she was so concerned, she raced from her office over to the building where the child was still out on the ledge. At 7:15 p.m., she says she called Vallejo police again and was told there was still no patrol car available.
“I was just kind of stunned,” Kearney-Brown said. “Something terrible could’ve happened.”
After about 20 minutes, a fire truck arrived, but Kearney-Brown says that was only because one of the witnesses at the scene called her husband who drove from Benicia and physically stopped by a fire station to ask someone to respond.
By then, the children had gone inside.
Vallejo police didn’t arrive until 7:30 p.m., 30 minutes after Kearney-Brown’s first call.
“They said they were in the middle of a robbery or whatever,” she said.
Vallejo police admitted to the mistake when KPIX 5 reached out for comment Wednesday.
“It appears the call was not prioritized. This type of call warrants an immediate response. We made some mistakes and we’re going to fix it to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Vallejo Police Lt. Jason Potts.
Police said they have reached out to the parents of the toddlers and are investigating the incident.