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Automated Switching System Proposed to Screen 911 Calls

Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon proposed Tuesday that the city’s 911 dispatch system be connected with an automatic, electronic selection menu to handle non-emergency calls.

Since many calls to 911 are not life-or-death emergencies, and many are “frivolous requests for directions, time of day and the weather,” Alarcon asked the staff to report within two months on the prospects for implementing a voice-mail-type system to direct calls.

Laura Chick, who heads the council’s Public Safety Committee, said such an electronic answerer is already part of the long-term plan for reforming the 911 system.


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