Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Valley Perspective

Overburdened 911 System

February 04, 2001

Re "911 System Swamped as Overhaul Inches Along," Jan. 28.

One reason the 911 system is inundated with nonemergency calls is that the Los Angeles Police Department cannot or does not answer their standard phone lines.

Earlier this month, I attempted to call the Pacific Bell-listed telephone number for the front desk of the LAPD West Valley Division regarding one or more homeless persons using a portion of the rear of my residence property as a nighttime encampment. Because the trespasser was not present at the time, I never considered using 911. Between 2 and 8 p.m. I dutifully dialed the listed number approximately 40 times and received a busy signal each time. During that first hour, I called once every five minutes, or 12 times. I finally reached West Valley Division the next morning and was given a direct nonemergency dispatch number to call when the trespasser returned. When he did that evening, I called and within about 45 minutes officers responded. They rousted the intruder from his sleeping bag and made him spend about 20 minutes cleaning up the mess he had created. They promised to arrest him if he ever returned. To date, he has not.

The actual police service after reaching them was good, but the ability to communicate the problem was extremely poor. How many people don't have the patience or time to spend portions of several hours to reach LAPD and use 911 as a shortcut?

GARY STEVENS

West Hills

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|