Phone outages at San Fernando Valley LAPD stations prompt city funding for upgrades

The loss of non-emergency telephone service at several police stations in the San Fernando Valley in February may have prompted Los Angeles officials to take the first steps toward upgrading the city’s faltering phone system.

The city’s latest budget includes $648,000 to replace traditional landline phones that stopped working earlier this year with a ‘smart’ system known as Voice Over Internet Protocol or VOIP, at the Van Nuys, Foothill, Devonshire, and Granada Hills police stations.

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Since the “malfunction” at the police stations occurred, non-emergency calls have been rerouted to the 3-1-1 line or sent to a pre-recorded message, Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander said this week.

Describing the interrupted service as “unacceptable,” Englander said it “highlighted the need to replace an antiquated system with updated technology appropriate for current needs.”

The Van Nuys station is expected to be first to get the new system, according to Los Angeles Police Department Commander Regina Scott.

“We’re doing a walk-through in Van Nuys — that will be the first division that will get” the new system, Scott said.

She added that upgrades are needed at more police stations, “there are actually 13 throughout the whole department that have old antiquated systems that do need to be updated.”

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