(The Minnesota Sun) — Instead of calling 911 to report crime, Minneapolis residents are now being told to call 311 if the crime is not currently in progress or if it is non-violent.
The 311 line is staffed by civilian city workers who will take complaints and file reports instead of having Minneapolis police officers dispatched. Some residents have reported up to a 30-minute wait time on the 311 line.
The program went into effect on June 14. This effort is in response to budget cuts at the Minneapolis Police Department and trying to shift some of the “administrative” work away from the MPD.
Having residents call 311 is part of the Minneapolis initiative to provide alternatives to policing. The city website reads, “This is a service change aligned with the City’s work around seeking alternatives to police response.”
The 311 line is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Residents can file complaints only between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. during the 311 line business hours. According to CBS Minnesota, seven new call center employees were hired to handle the volume of calls.
If a resident needs to make a report on property damage or theft outside of the time frame when Minneapolis 311 takes them, they are asking that the resident either call back another time, leave a voicemail, or file an online report.
The city said that it will monitor the results of the program throughout the next year.