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What's the 311?

By Chris Landers | Posted 7/8/2009

People call the city's non-emergency number for all kinds of important reasons. Some of the callers just need information that the operators themselves can give out--useful things like when the trash gets picked up, or what City Council district they're in. Then, there's the other stuff.

March 13, 2006. "Note: Caller wants to know if the water department has at least six weeks of water chlorine. Or if not how long can the city treat the water supply with it present supply of chlorine. Caller is concerned about the bird flu disease."

March 10, 2007. "There are people running their toy boat in the lake--unknown."

Sept. 30, 2008. "Citizen wanted to know how he can get in contact with Playboy magazine."

Sept. 30, 2008. "Caller wants to know if spray painting the word reserved on the curb to reserve a parking spot is allowed--informed caller that it is not."

April 7, 2009. "Caller said his girlfriend was arrested by police for pouring bleach on his clothes; he wanted to know if he could get reimbursed; advised him he'll have to sue the subject who damaged his clothing (i.e., the subject who was arrested)."

April 7, 2009. "A yelling 12-year-old wants to have animal control continue looking for his stray dog."

May 30, 2009. "Caller said she got a suspicious package; asked her if she had opened it up; she said yes; asked her if there was anything inside it; she said no; advised her to check with her local postal carrier about it."

May 31, 2009. "Caller was reporting a theft of her purse while she was outside Oriole stadium; asked her if she's still in the city right now; she said no; advised her to come back into the city please then call police."

Disclaimer: What's the 311 is based on data from the Mayor's Office of Information Technology (This time ranging from September 2005 to May 2009). It has been folded, spindled, and mutilated along the way, and no attempt has been made to verify the accuracy of the calls. Seriously, though, anybody know the number for Playboy?

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