3-1-1 Boston Ad – August 2016

img_7922 This was taken in Boston, when I visited Fenway Park for the first time to witness a Red Sox game. This ad on a public trash can touts Boston’s 3-1-1 citizen service hotline. For many years, there was a ten-digit number – 617-435-3500 or something remotely similar. In the late 2000s, the City of Boston implemented a CRM – that is a Constituent Relations Management software package similar to Customer Relations Management in a private sector customer support line. Despite upgrades to VOIP and a CRM, Boston never switched the three-digit number until the late Thomas M. Menino didn’t run for his fifth term, and sadly passed away a year later. The hesitant to change most likely came from the very top, since Marty Walsh has been Mayor, Boston has seriously moved forward in the operations sense. Since then a similar service is delivered on smartphone apps.

Regardless of the limited fanfare of the number change; Massachusetts is known for (or to encourage) frivolous 9-1-1 calls as well as local conservative talk show hosts mocking 9-1-1 to report post election “hate crimes” which I feel is so inappropriate on so many levels. It is unsure if the mockery is a joke, or dry at least. But there are really some naive dumbos living in the Commonwealth that could follow a talk show host to call 9-1-1 for a hate crime and another hopeless citizen may be put onto another queue to report a life threatening house fire thanks to the talk show hosts being smart alecks. This is the very same reason why 3-1-1 (or other non life threatening calls) was implemented in the first place.

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