News : Suffolk County Opens 311 Call Center
Suffolk County, NY, USA, May 28, 2019 - Suffolk County residents can now report potholes, downed lights and other concerns and get more efficient responses from government agencies by dialing 311, officials said Tuesday.
County Executive Steve Bellone, Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart and Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim appeared at a new call center to announce the official launch of 311, which centralizes calls for county services and complaints.
Suffolk is the first county in the state to add 311 call service, officials said. It is intended to cut down on thousands of nonemergency 911 calls, help speed and track service responses and help residents avoid the "runaround" when trying to contact officials.
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"This is a terrific, terrific opportunity for us to remain laser-focused on the emergency calls that we do receive and offload those nonemergency calls that can be handled properly by the 311 team," Hart said.
Bellone said that since he announced plans for 311 last month, a team of six employees has answered about 50 to 100 calls a day in a test phase.
Operators can respond directly to calls about common problems and log them into a computer program, which tracks responses, officials said.
Callers with more serious issues will be connected to the proper county department. Requests meant for other jurisdictions will be forwarded to the appropriate municipality, county officials said.
Bellone officially launched the service Tuesday by answering a call about a pothole from a cubicle in the H. Lee Dennison building in Hauppauge.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, May 30, 2019
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