Primarily designed to reduce non-emergency calls, Miami-Dade County’s 3-1-1 line has become a versatile receiving point for resident complaints as well a county services directory.
While “common sense should separate emergencies from reporting non-compliance with building and zoning code ordinances, we’re just a phone away to help,” Roberta Pasquier, 3-1-1 administrator, explained to the Citizens Advisory Committee during a July 27 meeting at Miami-Dade Police Department’s Hammocks Station.
“For example, calls about a serious dog fight can still go to 9-1-1 for police aid, dog bites will be transferred to Fire-Rescue, but a non-emergency dog complaint, like a barking or abused pet should go to 3-1-1,” she said.
“The important thing is knowing when the 3-1-1 line should be called,” she added, describing how the county-managed circuit tracks most every citizen call-in complaint from abandoned automobiles to garbage dumping.
“Most important for any call report is to get a correct and specific address,” she emphasized. “If you see someone write graffiti on a wall, your call should instantly go to 9-1-1 so police can make an arrest. Otherwise, we take “after-the-act” reporting for followup, including cleanup when necessary.”
Formerly of Team Metro, where she served as secretary to Community Council 11, Pasquier now is a supervisor of the 100-plus staff members of the 3-1-1 Telephone Center that answers inquiries Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Service requests through the 3-1-1 line can include ordering replacement recycling bins; pot hole repairs; trip planning via Miami-Dade Transit; reporting overgrown lots, junk and trash piles, or a request for a stop sign or traffic signal, she said.
Most popular calls?
“Complaints on property tax assessments, garbage and recycling issues, animal concerns and pet adoptions,” Pasquier said. “And yes, the mosquito season got plenty of our attention — over 5,000 calls during July. Operators record addresses to avoid ground-level spraying where occupants are allergic to chemicals.”
With the hurricane season underway, 3-1-1 serves as a 24-hour rumor control hotline as a single source of information, especially helpful in pinpointing shelter locations for people and pets, she said. “Before a storm hits, you should register individuals who have special needs including those who require a continuing generator power source.
“Through our computer data base, we can quickly help move someone to the right shelter when a storm approaches.”
Currently, the center is working to enable 3-1-1 availability on AT&T U-Verse, Vonage or magicJack. In the meantime, call 305-468-5900. For complete details on 3-1-1 services, visit online or send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.