Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced a wide-ranging group of supporters for the Suffolk311 system that will go live next month. These include business advocacy organizations, local government officials, and civic leaders across the state. Suffolk311 is modeled off of similar systems including New York City, the City of Buffalo, and the City of Baltimore.
Suffolk311 will improve public safety by reducing the burden on 911 county emergency call centers that receive tens of thousands of non-emergency calls each year. This will allow emergency call centers to be better positioned to respond to true emergencies. The system will also improve residents’ interactions and overall experience with county government. In addition to connecting residents to the government that serves them, the 311 system is a premier management tool, which will help officials to better allocate resources and taxpayer dollars by capturing critical details on each call, question, or request, allowing the county to gather valuable insight into the issues communities across the county are facing in real-time.
The sophisticated constituent response system utilizes cutting-edge cloud technology to provide more professional, timely, and effective customer service for all municipal residents. By dialing 311, or 631-853-6311 if outside the jurisdiction of the county, residents will be directed to a central call center that will drastically simplify constituent interactions for tracking and completing common inquiries and concerns. The 311 system will also include a website, mobile application, and social media platform for residents to choose from a variety of methods to initiate service requests.
The following individuals offered their praise for Suffolk311:
Michael Balboni, Former New York State Deputy Secretary for Public Safety, said: “In our fast paced and data centric world, triaging information is crucial to providing emergency services and public safety. Removing calls from the traditional 911 systems will allow the County to design a more reliable, responsive, and nimble system.”
Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman said: “A comprehensive 311 system is customer friendly, creates accountability, increases efficiency and helps modernize the way government does business. I’ve helped lead the development of 311-type systems in both Brookhaven and Long Beach and seen the positive impacts first hand. I look forward to seeing the results on the county level and congratulate County Executive Bellone on continuing to be one of the leaders in government innovation.”
Smithtown Town Supervisor Ed Wehrheim said: "I am looking forward to this roll out and hope to be able to link Suffolk County 311 to our Town of Smithtown App, giving our residents every possible source for assistance and information. With so many residents young and old relying on their smartphones as the primary source for information, this vital tool will keep Suffolk County engaged, aware and up to date with pertinent news, facts and offer fast acting help while guiding county officials with accurate data on what residents are most concerned with on a daily basis."
Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said: "Suffolk County 311 is a great way to make government more efficient and accessible to the public. Not only will it free up 911 operators for true emergencies, but it will give the general public an easy place to get important information about governmental services."
New York City Councilman Justin Brannan said: “As a New York City Councilman, I know what a valuable tool 311 is for my constituents. The 311 service complements the important work my office does on a daily basis to serve the communities I represent in the most efficient and effective way possible. Today, New York City is the model for how other municipalities across the country operate and use data to identify and solve problems quickly. Your government cannot be an instrument to advance equity if it isn't delivering basic city services and responding to everyday quality of life concerns and 311 absolutely helps make that possible. I commend County Executive Bellone for embracing this modern approach to constituent service at a time when people want results, not rhetoric.”
Senator Anna Kaplan said: “The Town of North Hempstead introduced 311 several years ago to bring government services closer to town residents, and since its inception, over 1 million calls for assistance have been handled through the service. It has been an extremely valuable tool to help our local government to better serve the residents of our community, and I commend County Executive Steve Bellone for bringing this service to the residents of Suffolk County.”
Senator Jim Gaughran, Chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government, said: “Suffolk County’s new 311 service will provide a critical service to residents while simultaneously relieving an overburdened 911 emergency line. This smart approach to public safety will ensure that emergency calls are prioritized to the dedicated emergency line, 911. I applaud County Executive Bellone for once again leading the way with data driven, innovative approaches to prioritizing public safety, improving suburban quality of life, and helping constituents.”
Kevin Law, President and CEO of the Long Island Association, said: “311 has been successfully utilized by municipalities throughout the country and thus I commend County Executive Bellone for his leadership in bringing it to Suffolk County to help taxpayers and the business community navigate government more efficiently.”
Kyle Strober, Executive Director of Association for a Better Long Island, said: “Technology that is leveraged on behalf of the taxpayer reveals a public policy strategy that enhances the equality of life for Suffolk residents. The ABLI supports this latest initiative by County Executive Bellone that makes government more accessible and more responsive.”
Dr. Jim Malatras, President of the Rockefeller Institute of Government, said: “Suffolk County has been a pioneer in leveraging cutting-edge technology and collaboration to provide better, more efficient public services. I commend County Executive Steve Bellone for bringing Suffolk311, a potentially life-saving innovation, to the people of his county.”
311 was originally developed as a non-emergency alternative for police departments to reduce congestion on 911 call centers. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg implemented a similar system in the City of New York. Today, NYC 311 is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive 311 non-emergency government information and services center. Other major cities and local governments across the country have also embraced the 311 concept, including Buffalo, Boston and Chicago.