311 Lafayette brings reporting crime online

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The Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) is trying to make the city safer and more efficient. 311lafayette.services launched one week ago.

The online service is currently used for all non-emergency police requests, but that’s just the beginning of its potential. Local leaders hope it will become the all-in-one tool for connecting with government

“How can we innovate so that our citizens can engage using the technology that they have?”, Lafayette Consolidated Government’s Chief Information Officer Randy Gray said describing his job.

While talking he scrolled through an online city map covered with icons that is proof a new Lafayette service is working.

“We really hope that this will be where the citizens really go to interact with the city,” Gray said.

The 311 Lafayette website is fully equipped to report any police request that doesn’t require 911, such as drug activity, panhandling, and more right at your fingertips.

Gray informed us the site is the next evolution of the 311 phone line, “It really streamlines everything for us.”

He said the old system lacked the efficiency and immediate feedback now available, but “With this system that eliminates all of that, and now they just go in, put in that service request. They can ask to be notified on that service request and be notified of what’s going on.”

Just Wednesday I saw five requests which were made on the mobile site, including an abandoned vehicle on Congress Street

Following the address, News 10 found a broken down vehicle and Don Higginbotham.

“That’s the problem I had,” Higginbotham said. “I had an abandoned car parked on my lot for the last week and a half.”

He says the car sat there for a week and a half before he discovered 311 from a local newspaper article. He called 311 where the help desk completed his online for which went directly to Lafayette Police.

“I think it’s something that Lafayette needs on a small basis,” Higginbotham stated. “Not every problem is catastrophic, and people don’t really know who to call when there’s a small problem.”

The program took 12 weeks to launch, ahead of schedule and $99K below it $478K phase one budget. Phase two is budgeted for $323K and will include online Public Works requests and is expected to launch by the end of the year.

Gray said the third phase is also being planned, “We’re just scratching the surface. That’s what’s exciting about it.”

Where other 311 sites like in Baton Rouge require registration, in Lafayette reports can be anonymous.

The site is currently a city service only, but Public Works requests will expand to the full parish.

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