(11/03/2011)
The West Virginia State Police has filed with the Public Service Commission to have exclusive rights to 311, a statewide number residents can dial for non-emergency purposes.

The PSC staff has problems with the State Police application, expressing concern allowing a statewide agency to use 311, thereby making it unavailable to any West Virginia county government or municipality.

The State Police had earlier introduced a bill in the WV Legislature to take-over the state's 911 communication system.

That proposal got minimal traction in the legislature, and was opposed based on giving the agency too much control of the state's communication systems.

State Police are now asking the PSC to give them exclusive use of the 311 abbreviated telephone dialing code in West Virginia.

All 311 calls would be directed to the nearest State Police office.

State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous said the State Police wants "a nonemergency system ... to [allow the public to] ask law enforcement questions" and to find out other, nonemergency information. He would not comment further on the filing, according to the Charleston Gazette.

The PSC has told State Police to publish notice of its statewide 311 proposal in state newspapers, and give anyone who wants to protest or intervene 30 days to do so.

All protests and requests to intervene should be addressed to Sandra Squire, Executive Secretary, P.O. Box 812, Charleston, WV 25323.


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