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LETTERS

911: Knowing When or Where Else to Call

February 15, 1996

By now anyone who is not mentally challenged has heard the news that 911 is not an entertainment channel ("Emergency Central," Feb. 2).

People who think it's a hoot to call 911 operators should not only be arrested, they should be given a stiff fine--no community service. This fine should include an administrative service charge and interest should accumulate if it is not paid in a timely manner.

This policy should be augmented by public service announcements on all radio and television stations. There should be zero tolerance for causing someone to die, unable to reach 911, because of some bored or inattentive creep.

MARIANNE DELLA MARNA

Alta Loma

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Have you ever tried to get ahold of a fire or police station after hours or on the weekend? I am a long-distance truck driver and find that there are a multitude of [nonemergency] numbers, and then the officers are not on duty to assist.

As a European, I was raised with very strict taboos against calling 999, the emergency number in Great Britain, but you could always find a police officer to assist with a problem, even on Sundays or at 2 a.m.

Why is there no set phone number for nonemergency situations that happen and require help?

RUTH KRAUS

Yelm, Wa.

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