The city is using Web-based technology to field complaints about graffiti, litter and other quality-of-life issues.
Residents may now document complaints or concerns about their neighborhood on the city's SeeClickFix Web page. The page allows people to report issues by writing a brief description of the problem and including an address. For example, if someone spots a pothole on Capitol Avenue, he or she should include the nearest address or intersection in the description.
The site is linked to the city's 311 call center database, city officials said. Once a resident submits an issue, the call center will get an e-mail notification. Call center employees will then acknowledge the concern, refer it to the proper department and update the SeeClickFix page once the case has been resolved.
Two call center employees - the office supervisor and another staff member - are responsible for fielding the concerns, said Andy Jaffe, director of emergency services and telecommunications, which oversees the 311 department. Additional staff may be assigned to the website if the number of cases keeps increasing, he said.
The amount of time it takes to deal with an issue depends on the case, Jaffe said. Residents can monitor the progress of their complaints on the site.
The idea for a dedicated Hartford page on SeeClickFix arose more than a year ago, when some employees would comb the site for city issues, Councilman Luis Cotto said. "The next progression was having [the issues] automatically go to the 311 database instead of having them go out and fish for them," he said.
Cotto has encouraged city dwellers to download the free SeeClickFix application to their smartphones. Using the app, residents can take pictures of a problem and upload them with the written descriptions.
The partnership between the website and the city also allows people to view others' complaints, comment on them and vote to fix the problems they feel enthusiastic about, city officials said.
"This new partnership will engage and empower all of our residents to actively participate in improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods," Mayor Pedro Segarra said in a statement.
To view the site, visit www.seeclickfix.com/hartford. The phone application can be downloaded from www.seeclickfix.com/apps.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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