Suffolk County To Launch Its Own 311 Call Center – CBS New York
Critics say it is too costly, but the county executive says it actually saves money.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone made the announcement in the state of the county address Wednesday night. It’s going to go live in just 30 days.
A call center in Hauppauge will soon take 311 calls, taking complaints from residents about everything from potholes to downed trees.
Those calls overburden 911 operators and will let them focus on true emergencies, CBSN New York’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
Cities around the nation use the system, including New York City, which was rolled out by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg years ago. Bellone says while there’s a startup cost of $500,000, it will, in the end, save the county money because it will make government more efficient.
“311 and implementing this data management system is going to save taxpayers money significantly over the long term because this is going to allow us to track our performance and to become more efficient as a government. Deliver better services to our residents at a lower cost, that’s what 311 is about,” Bellone said.
Critics scoff at the price tag but Bellone says it saves money. He explains residents should think about all the time that’s wasted by government officials taking so many calls from people, having to reroute calls eight times because there are so many different jurisdictions, school districts, towns and villages. Bellone says the 311 system will help the government run much more efficiently.