Who you gonna call? 311 - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Who you gonna call? 311

The City of Amarillo will soon unveil a new 311 phone line for non-emergencies The City of Amarillo will soon unveil a new 311 phone line for non-emergencies
Amarillo City Council Member Mark Nair Amarillo City Council Member Mark Nair
The 311 phone line became an idea after former Interim City Manager, Terry Childers, called 911 when his briefcase went missing The 311 phone line became an idea after former Interim City Manager, Terry Childers, called 911 when his briefcase went missing
The City of Austin has its own version of a 311 calling system The City of Austin has its own version of a 311 calling system
An Amarillo 911 dispatcher An Amarillo 911 dispatcher
AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -

City of Amarillo officials say people use 911 or all types of issues, most of them are non-emergencies. 

"They're just phone calls like there's a cat stuck in a tree," said Amarillo City Council Member, Mark Nair. 

Nair saw this as an issue -- especially after former Interim City Manager, Terry Childers, dialed 911 after his briefcase went missing, causing a frenzy. 

"We should learn from this and see what we can do to make things a little better," said Nair. 

Nair's idea, a 311 call system. It's new to Amarillo and the goal is to take the unnecessary load off of 911. 

"We might be able to save some lives, we might be able to sent responders out faster to emergencies," said Nair. "So, I'm just trying to take what other cities have done that have had success and get it here so we can have the same. " 

So, with the new system, people would dial 311 and the call would go to a separate call center. Along with this, the city is hoping to install a new 311 mobile that will allow folks to report other non-emergencies like pot holes, graffiti and illegal dumping. 

Some Amarillo residents are already liking the idea. 

"I agree with the idea of having another number," said Aiman Shokr. "We will keep our resources to the people who really need help in emergency situations." 

Other folks have some concerns about educating the public on it. 

"How can we spread the word to people who really don't go through social media to find out what's new in the city and what's going on in the local news?" asked Jacqlyn Gandy. "For kids in elementary school, I think it would be a little confusing to remember not only 911 but 311 as well." 

Nair says the new system comes at no extra cost to taxpayers, everything is paid for with cost savings from past projects. Right now, we're about a month and half out from having the new system. 

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