(PORTSMOUTH, VA – July 1, 2019) – The city of Portsmouth rolls out its 311 Non Emergency Call Center effective today, July 1. Three-one-one (311) is a non-emergency phone number that residents can use to obtain information about city services, make complaints or convey citizen concerns. Citizen services advocates will man the Portsmouth 311 Non-Emergency Call Center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Whether a resident wants to report a pothole, find about the next trash or recycle day or to simply thank a city employee for a job well done, they can now call the Portsmouth 311 Non-Emergency Call Center.
Police departments across the country are bombarded with 911 calls for non-emergency queries. By implementing the Portsmouth 311 Non-Emergency Call Center, Portsmouth officials believe that the 311 call center will help to keep the 911 emergency line clear for true emergencies. “We also believe that the 311 Non-Emergency Call Center will more closely connect us to our citizens and their needs,” said LaVoris A. Pace, deputy city manager and director for marketing and communications. “It will also give us great insight into how we’re delivering services, insight into the issues that concern residents the most, and it will increase the number of eyes and ears monitoring issues all across the city.
Cities around the country have greatly benefitted from 311 Call Centers citing better service delivery for its residents, increased connections and interaction with citizens, and the ability to collect valuable information and data from citizens that will improve city operations. “Government should be accessible and accountable to the people we serve,” said Dr. L. Pettis Patton, Portsmouth city manager. “We’re among the growing lists of municipalities that are using call centers and its technological advances to offer innovative and seamless ways to ensure government efficiency and deliver high-caliber services to our residents.”
City officials plan to launch a three-month promotional campaign to raise awareness of the new Portsmouth 311 Non-Emergency Call Center among residents. The campaign will include social media, billboards, and digital and print advertising.