Local Officials Question WV 311 Telephone System

CHARLESTON, W.V. (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 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.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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