Each year, around 30 percent of the 9-1-1 call volume in Memphis is non-emergency and does not require immediate assistance. In cases of crises only, like life-threatening emergencies or crimes in progress, residents should call 9-1-1 for immediate police, fire or paramedic services. The City of Memphis, in partnership with United Way of the Mid-South, is launching the “Make the Right Call” Campaign to remind citizens to think carefully before dialing 9-1-1 and to consider alternatives for non-emergency matters.

“Non-emergency calls tie up our phone lines and can prevent callers with genuine emergencies from getting through,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “It is important for citizens to recognize what is and is not an emergency, so this campaign will ensure that our 9-1-1 dispatchers are dealing with emergency matters that are affecting our communities and responding to reports of crime.”

Common 9-1-1 call misuse is citizens’ requests for City services that can be handled by the 3-1-1 Call Center, where requestors will be directed to the appropriate Division or supporting agency for resolution. Common reports include debris in yards, vehicle violations at homes, weeds, potholes, trash collection, new garbage and recycle bin requests, sewer backup, drain flooding, traffic sign maintenance, and loose or stray dogs. The 3-1-1 Call Center is open Mondays – Fridays, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

“Knowing the right number to dial helps reduce call volume, but most importantly, it saves our citizens time and cuts through the red tape of finding a nonprofit agency with appropriate services. The quicker a person in need is connected to the right information, the faster we can help them discover solutions to challenges and problems,” says Dr. Kenneth S. Robinson, United Way of the Mid-South President and CEO.

Funded by the United Way of the Mid-South and facilitated at the Memphis Public Library & Information Center, LINC 2-1-1 provides information on community, social and health services, along with federally-funded services like housing, employment, food banks, emergency shelters, youth and family counseling, mental health, addiction agencies and more. LINC 2-1-1 maintains a large, comprehensive database of human services organizations, government agencies and volunteer groups. Hours of operation are Mondays –Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Fridays – Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; and Sundays 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The campaign contains 15-, 30-, and 60-second television and radio commercials, posters, and flyers that will be disseminated to community and neighborhood organizations. For more information, visit memphistn.gov/maketherightcall.

(Note: This copy comes from a media release from our friends at City of Memphis government)