740,000 Calls to 911 Went Unanswered in ’89

About 740,000 calls to the outmoded 911 emergency telephone system in Los Angeles--that’s about 1.6% of all calls--went unanswered last year because of staff and computer overloads, police officials revealed Tuesday.

The officials disclosed the problems during a hearing before the City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee, which unanimously endorsed their request to place a $235-million general-obligation bond measure on the November ballot.

The bonds would pay for an upgrade and expansion of both the 911 system and police radio communications, and would cost the average homeowner about $26.25 a year for 20 years.