Albany citizens turning to "311" instead of "411" for assistance - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany citizens turning to "311" instead of "411" for assistance

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

When citizens of Albany have questions and need to find out who they need to contact "411" is not the number some citizens from Albany dial.

Instead many citizens are dialing "311" and the call center remains busy taking calls.

"We're trying to assist citizens any way we can," said Cindy an information technology specialist at the facility.

At the call center information technology specialists answer questions and they help get things done.

The call center takes two different types of calls, one is informational and the other is service request type inquiries.  Service request type questions could consist of anything from a street light out to a pot hole, to code violations.

Mike Tilson with says 311 "When I first took this job six years ago, I would answer maybe ten calls a week, some said code enforcement hasn't done this, code enforcement hasn't done that, and now I rarely get those calls," said Mike Tilson a code enforcement staff member.

Tilson says "311" has helped dramatically improve his department's service.

"It helps us with follow throughs, follow-ups, and it helps us to manage what's coming in. "We're able to count, we're able to communicate all the way through with the other departments that may be involved with the case," said Tilson.

When the call center was created, the city hoped to handle 25,000 calls a year. 

This year the service has been utilized 32,000 times through calls and web hits. 

The current number was down slightly from the previous year, but city leaders are still pleased with the numbers.

"I think 3% lower means we just leveled off, I really do, our initial hopes were that we would have 25,000 calls a year from citizens, so leveling off at 34,000 is a lot higher and we're extremely pleased with those numbers," said Tilman.

He says they are also pleased that the citizens of Albany are contacting them.

"311" now has an app that citizens of Albany can use to contact them and to receive important numbers.

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