All mixed up? Don't know what to do? 3-1-1 may be the number for you
By Matilyn Mortensen / Jan. 19, 2016
Logan residents who weren’t sure who to call for sandbags and other assistance during recent snowstorms only had to remember three numbers to get help: 3-1-1.
In the wake of the storms, Mayor Craig Petersen said he received positive feedback about the new non-emergency informational number, which the city launched in December.
Residents typically know what to do when they witness a crime being committed or when a life-threatening emergency occurs. 9-1-1 is the logical response in those situations. But in implementing the new number, city leaders wanted to give residents a way to get help with more day-to-day concerns, offering “a little more ease in calling someone who can make a difference,” city councilman Tom Jensen said.
3-1-1 is a number designated by the Federal Communications Commission for non-emergency calls, and different communities across the United States use it in different ways. In Logan, residents can use the number to file complaints, ask about utilities, report suspicious behavior, or receive clarification on laws.
Bronwyn O’ Hara is a fan of the new initiative.
“When they announced it, I got so excited and thought people needed to know about it so I wrote a letter to the editor,” said O’ Hara, a frequent letter-writer to the Herald Journal newspaper.
O’ Hara said she tested the number out and was pleased with how straightforward it was to use.
There is no way to track how often the number is actually being dialed, Peterson said, because it is simply an alternative to using the city number. He’s encouraged, though, by reports that the number has already proven useful to residents of his city.