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Funds OKd for Toll-Free Nonemergency Number

By spring, Angelenos who want to call police about a cat stuck in a tree, a parking ticket or countless other nonemergency matters will be able to dial a toll-free number to get through.

The Los Angeles Police Department now has eight nonemergency phone numbers, said Lt. John Egan, who is overseeing creation of the single toll-free number. The old numbers will eventually be reduced.

The City Council allocated $415,000 Wednesday for the effort, which will include a public education campaign about the number.

Egan declined to disclose what acronym the digits might spell on a telephone keypad, but said it would be easy to remember. “It’s going to be kind of catchy,” he said.

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The new number will help alleviate the volume of nonemergency calls in the city’s 911 system. An October report by the city’s chief legislative analyst and administrative officer estimated that 80% of 911 calls are not for life-threatening emergencies.

The city is also considering implementing a 311 nonemergency number, but that system may take about three years to set up, said Roger Ham, the LAPD’s communications chief.


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