Letter: My family was needlessly scared

By on February 23, 2012

Not sure if this is considered “news,” but I thought I would share in hopes that it doesn’t ever have to happen to anyone else.

Recently, in early February, my husband left for his overnight shift as an air traffic controller at 9:30 p.m.

I was left home with my three kids, ages 5, 6 and 7. At 10 p.m. my door bell rang and my dogs began to bark. I looked through the peep hole and saw a man I did not recognize standing outside my door. My first instinct was to not answer because I am a woman, it’s late at night, I do not know the man and I am at home with my sleeping children. The man continued ringing my bell, and I could hear my storm door handle being opened and him talking to someone else. I stayed where I was and could hear the man talking with someone else outside of my house.

After several attempts of ringing the doorbell, the man then walked through my front yard. Looking out the peep hole again, I did not see any vehicles at or in front of my house. Next thing I know, my dogs are barking at my back window and I see two men walking around my back yard with flashlights. Scared doesn’t even begin to describe the emotion I was feeling. I dialed 911 and explained to the operator what was going on. I asked her if there was an emergency in my area and these were possible police or fire trying to tell me something. She told me she did not have any emergencies at the moment and advised me to stay on the phone with her while an officer was dispatched to my house. I was informed that the officer was driving up and down my street, the street behind me and checking out my back yard. I was told to make sure all of my doors were locked and to stay on the line until the police officer came to my door.

After 10 minutes or so, I hung up with 911 when the police officer came to my door. He was smiling and told me not to worry because “it was just the village of Elburn on an emergency call.” As he was telling me this, I saw someone come from my back yard to my front yard and into the street in front of my neighbor’s house and turn on the yellow lights of the Public Works truck.

The next morning, I placed a call to the non-emergency line of the police department, and they transferred me to the village administrator. I was told that an emergency for a sewer backing up was called in at 8:30 p.m. that night and the access to the sewage line was behind my house. I told her I was terrified that someone was breaking into my house and my children were woken up to barking dogs and their mommy on the phone with 911.

How could the village have let this happen? How is it that an emergency was phoned in at 8:30 p.m. and between then and 10 p.m., no one called me. I will not open my door to anyone when it is late, dark, and I am in the house with my children.

Had the village of Elburn called my house, they could have saved me and my children a night of being terrified. If they new enough about my property to know that a line ran behind my back yard, then surely they knew enough to have a phone number. I still maintain that no woman should open her door to a stranger, and am appalled how the city handled this situation. Hopefully in the future, no one has to go through this.

Jennifer Hall

One Comment

  1. campl41

    February 23, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    WOW, you must have been terrified. To say that the city handled this badly would be an understatement. So much for the city making us feel safe in our own homes.