Memphians Call 911 for Loose Dogs, Weeds, Recycle Bins


  • Memphis Police Department

Memphians call 911 to report weeds, loose dogs, debris in yards, drain flooding, sewer backups, when they want a traffic sign fixed, or when they want a new garbage can or recycle bin.

That’s according to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland Wednesday who said about 30 percent of 911 calls each year do not require immediate assistance.

“Non-emergency calls tie up our phone lines and can prevent callers with genuine emergencies from getting through,” Strickland said in a news release.

So, the city and United Way of the Mid-South have launched the “Make the Right Call” campaign to inform citizens on who they should call about those weeds and stray dogs.

Those non-emergency calls should go to the city’s 311 system, for which a call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. If you’re looking for information on local resources on community, social, and health services, you should call 211.

If that’s a little confusing, let’s do it this way:

311: requests for city services
• Complaints about debris in yards, vehicle violations at homes, weeds, potholes, trash collection, or requesting a new garbage and recycle bin, to report sewer backup, drain flooding, traffic sign maintenance, and loose or stray dogs.
Open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

211: information on community, social, and health services
• 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.)
Open Monday –Thursday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 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,” said Dr. Kenneth S. Robinson, president and CEO of United Way of the Mid-South. “The quicker a person in need is connected to the right information, the faster we can help them discover solutions to challenges and problems.”

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