‘Terrifying and unacceptable:’ Mayor blasts 911 wait times in Kansas City

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 9:56 AM CDT|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 3:51 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says Kansas City needs to fix its 911-hold problem.

The mayor went public this morning about his personal story. He tweeted that when his sister called 911 for their mother yesterday, she waited on hold for five minutes.

This afternoon, the mayor told KCTV5 his mother is recovering in the ICU at a hospital.

Imagine, just imagine, my sister had to wait another 10 minutes, right?” said Lucas. “If we’re looking at 15 minutes, which I’ve heard some Kansas Citians have experience from the past, what does that mean for my mother today? If a five-minute delay has you in an ICU, imagine what a few more minutes are.”

Hundreds of people saw the tweet and many responded with similar horror stories.

“In the middle of the night, a man was trying to break into my house. I was on hold for 6 minutes and it took the officers almost 12 minutes to get to my house,” wrote one respondent.


911 wait times have been the focus of numerous KCTV5 Investigations. We’ve collected the latest data from the Mid-America Regional Council, which shows the answering time is not getting better. In fact, it’s getting worse.

Many people responding to the mayor’s tweet were supportive but the conversation allowed some to voice ongoing frustration.

“Only 5 minutes? That’s a short wait for KC,” said one respondent.

“When I called and the same thing happened to me. When I mentioned that this was wrong her response was vote the people out that defunded us,” tweeted another.

Mayor Lucas promised to find solutions to the hold times.

“No one should be waiting on hold when they call 911. Full stop. And, that’s something that needs to change in Kansas City. Whether it’s my mother, whether it’s anybody, it is a terrifying experience,” said Lucas.

In KCTV5′s earlier reports, the KCPD cited staffing issues as the root cause of the problem.

To see the latest data on 911 hold times, click here.

If you have an experience with a 911 call you’d want to share with our Investigative Team, sent an email to investigate@kctv5.com