Eastern Long Island residents will now be able to get answers to questions or make non-emergency complaints by calling Suffolk County’s new 311 hotline, officials announced Tuesday.
In addition to improving residents’ interactions and overall experience with local government, Suffolk311 serves as a management tool that helps officials better allocate resources and taxpayer dollars, officials said. It will additionally enhance public safety efforts by reducing the burden on 911 emergency call centers that receive tens of thousands of non-emergency calls each year.
“One call does it all” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told reporters during a news conference at the 311 call center in Hauppauge, quoting the hashtag and slogan that the county is using to promote the new system.
Suffolk311 is the first suburban county 311 call center in New York State. New York City launched its 311 hotline in 2003 and the Town of North Hempstead founded its 311 in 2005. North Hempstead touted receiving its two millionth call to 311 this month.
Suffolk’s 311 will have six dispatchers on duty from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The trial version of the center received between 50 and 100 calls each day. Bellone said the number of dispatchers will grow as the program expands.
He also remarked that the cost of expansion will be minimal, and “a huge win for taxpayers”.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geri Hart joined Bellone for the announcement.
“This is an important day for public safety in Suffolk County,” Hart said. “This is a terrific, terrific opportunity for us to remain laser-focused on the emergency calls we do receive”.
An app and website for Suffolk311 and are expected to launch in the coming month.