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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70195 Find in a Library
Title: Nine-one-one - Local Government Opinions - Final Report
Corporate Author: Firing and Associates
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 79
Sponsoring Agency: Firing and Associates
San Francisco, CA 94114
Pacific Telephone Co
San Francisco, CA 94105
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The attitudes of local government officials in California toward the 911 system and its implementation under existing State legislation were surveyed.
Abstract: Responses from police and fire officials, communications agency directors, city managers, and representatives of statewide emergency service agencies were obtained in 71 personal interviews and 272 mail survey questionnaires. In this manner, local agencies responsible for the emergency communication of over 70 percent of the State's population were polled. Questions focused on the perceived value and impact of 911, the desirability of various 911 feature options, costs, funding alternatives, the roles of the telephone industry and the State, and objections to 911. The results showed that almost all of the respondents agreed that the system would have at least some value to their communities; however, only 51 percent believed that the system would be particularly valuable to their agencies. All agencies in communities which had already implemeted the system found that it was a valuable asset. Furthermore, the survey revealed that the telephone industry's educational efforts had not been successful in making key local government people aware of the capabilities of various features and of the benefits to their agencies. At the heart of most controversies surrounding 911 were the economic and political implications of having emergency calls arrive at a single location: officials feared that the addition of a dispatcher between the caller and the responding agency would reduce response times and increase personnel cost. Nearly all respondents felt that the State should pay for the system's implementation; a majority said that without State mandate and funding, it would not be implemented in their localities. A telephone bill surcharge was regarded by most as the preferred method of collecting money after implementation. Many respondents felt that the telephone industry was charging unrealistic prices for 911 and that the State's handling of the program had caused delays and extra red tape. Other objections to the system included fears of 911 saturation, of an increase in non-emergency calls and false alarms, and of local exclusions due to inconsistent State approvals of local plans. Survey results are presented in tabular and graphic form. A reference list is not inluded.
Index Term(s): California; Nine-one-one (911) emergency telephone number
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