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311 Service Starts In Suffolk County

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Jay Shah
/
WSHU
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announces the launch of the countywide 311 service at a press conference on Tuesday.

Suffolk County has launched its 311 program, enabling residents to ask for non-emergency assistance and potentially easing the burden on first responders and the 911 call system.

Suffolk County receives around a million 911 calls every year. Tens of thousands of them are non-emergency.

County Executive Steve Bellone says 311 will help residents access parks, health, social and road information they need.

“You’re going to see people calling about all sorts of different things, whether it’s potholes or sumps or they may have a question about social services, benefits. On the East End, ticks, Lyme disease is a big issue.”

Bellone says Suffolk is the first suburban county in the state to implement a 311 system.

There are plans to expand the 311 in the coming months to include information from additional county departments.

And the call center could see expanded hours and more employees based on how much residents make use the service.

Jay Shah is a former Long Island bureau chief at WSHU.