MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - In an effort to curb non-emergency calls to its overburdened 911 system, the city of Memphis launched an app for citizens to report non-emergencies.
Launch the app, click on the report button, and you can take a picture of that pothole, broken street light, etc, write a description, then submit it to the city right from you smart phone. The app piggy-backs your phone's GPS to automatically record the location of your non-emergency.
"The service request goes to the city's 311 center and then to the appropriate department for resolution," said Brent Nair, chief information officer for the city of Memphis. "With a picture, staff can hone in on exactly what the issue is, saving time."
Memphis 311 also sports an issues button. City residents can click on it to request city services like recycle bins and sewer maintenance.
Its most interesting feature: a neighbors button. It searches within the immediate area for citizens who have already registered on the app. It reveals how many reports those citizens have submitted, the nature of their reports and whether they were successfully closed.
"This allows for citizens to see if a problem has been reported for a specific address or intersection," Nair said. "If they see the problem has been already reported, they become aware of the issue and do not report a duplicate issue. Also, they are able to comment or agree this is a problem and finally see when an issue is resolved."
One drawback of this feature: if you're a registered user and file a report, your location can be seen by everyone using the app. We suggest you use Memphis 311 as an unregistered user to avoid sharing your address.
"I think it's a pretty good concept," Memphis College of Art student Samuel Lippin said. "Saves time for police officers. Saves time for major stuff instead of (police) having to spend time on small stuff. It's a pretty good idea."