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Local officials question West Virginia 311 telephone system

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Emergency officials in some counties
are questioning whether a state police-supported 311 telephone
system for non-emergency calls is needed.

The Charleston Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/rtvaUQ ) that
Monongalia County's 911 board voted to send a letter to the West
Virginia Public Service Commission opposing the idea. Directors in
several other counties say they fear the 311 system will duplicate
efforts already offered by 911 dispatchers, cost a lot of money and
confuse callers.

West Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous said
the agency wants the system to allow residents to contact their
local state police detachments with non-emergency calls. Instead of
dialing 911, residents would dial 311 to contact a trooper about a
non-emergency or to ask questions related to the law.

The West Virginia Sheriff's Association also opposes the system.


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