City of Rochester potentially adding a 311 call center in the future

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(ABC 6 News) – Have you ever had a question but didn’t know who to turn to?

The 311 call center would help alleviate those troubles as it would direct you to where you would need to go.

It’s something that’s been in the works for the past year.

Establishing a 311 call center in Rochester would centralize all communication within the city.

With 16 departments, the city hopes this will be a more efficient way to serve citizens for non-emergency calls.

“70 percent of our incoming calls are directed to four main departments and that is community development, parks and recreation, the city clerk team, and then public works,” City of Rochester management analyst Heather Heyer said.

Another department that received a lot of calls is the Rochester police department.

Between 2021 and last year, the number of calls coming in grew by more than a thousand.

Going from 56,376 in 2021 to 57, 591 in 2022.

“They’re just calling non-emergency police because they know it’s going to get answered and we can direct them, well if it takes the direction away from us that’s less calls that we have to answer and we can concentrate on other phone calls,” shift supervisor of the 911 dispatch center Chris Lee said.

The goal of the 311 center is the have representatives on the line to answer any non-emergency questions or direct them to the proper department.

“I do think it’s a better service model for this community in being responsive to their needs for information and direction from a city leadership and city division perspective,” Rochester Police Department Chief Jim Franklin said.

There is still a lot of work that needs to get done before the call center is a reality, the city believes the expense will benefit the community.

“This is a really great investment for our community because it can be a one stop shop for residents who are looking for information and we can’t wait to be able to roll it out,” Heyer said.

Heyer hopes to have the 311 call center up and running as soon as January of next year.