Los Angeles: Chief of Police Charlie Beck today introduced a new public service announce-ment (PSA) created by the LAPD to educate citizens on appropriate use of the city’s 9-1-1 emergency call system. During a news conference at the LAPD’s Olympic Area Station, the PSA, which features Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Chief Beck, was shown for the first time to reporters and other members of the media.
In 2012, the LAPD’s twin Dispatch Centers processed a total of 4 million calls for service. Of this number, 2.3 million of incoming calls were received on 9-1-1 lines. In interpreting the call data, the Department determined a full 70 percent of 9-1-1 calls – or 1.6 million calls for service – were actually non-emergency in nature.
The LAPD classifies as emergencies those calls relating to life-threatening circumstances: injury traffic accidents, serious medical calls, felony crimes in progress, and any other incidents that pose a credible threat to public safety. Medical calls that don’t involve the commission of a crime are immediately transferred by 9-1-1 operators to the Los Angeles City Fire Department for handling.
The PSA instructs the public to direct non-emergency calls – for things such as loud parties, petty crimes, abandoned vehicles, non-violent neighbor disputes, property crimes, and other occurrences where lives are not in danger – to the Department’s toll-free non-emergency number, 877-ASK-LAPD (877-275-5273).
“The large number of non-emergency calls received on 9-1-1 highlights the need for education of our residents in this area,” commented Chief Beck. “It’s the hope of Mayor Garcetti and myself that this PSA will help callers recognize when they should dial 9-1-1, and when they should instead use our non-emergency number, where non-emergency police operators are waiting to help them. This will keep our 9-1-1 lines clear and available for true emergencies in the future.”
DVDs of the PSA are available in English and Spanish through the LAPD’s Media Relations Section at (213) 486-5910.