Tips For Calling 311 

The Chicago Police Department provides Tips for Calling 311 in order for citizens to better understand what a non-emergency call entails.

The following are the principal functions of the 311 system:

  • Provide information regarding City events and programs

  • Receive requests for City Services and forward them to the appropriate departments

  • Process non-emergency Police reports

  • Serve as the Back-up Facility for the Center for Emergency Communication.

  • You can call 311 to find out what Police District and beat you live in, as well as the date, time and location of your next beat meeting.

  • 311 operators can tell you what political district (federal, state or municipal) you live in, as well as the address and telephone number of your Alderman, so you can forward your questions and/or concerns. 

  • 311 operators can provide the date, time and location of both City and neighborhood events, including parades, Grant Park festivals, Chicago Public Library programs and more. 

  • Residents of Chicago can call 311 to request numerous City Services. Some of these services include the need for garbage cans (to prevent the presence of rats in a neighborhood), reporting stray animals that are a threat to the community, and towing abandoned vehicles. Those who find themselves homeless can call 311 to request information about shelters from the Department of Human Services. Remember, it is important to relay as much information as possible to the operator so that the City can service you as quickly and efficiently as possible.

  • The City of Chicago offers Chicago residents a variety of programs designed to improve the quality of life. These programs include “City Mortgage” which is a Department of Housing program that helps low and middle income families secure low interest mortgages with small down payments. The Tax Assistance Center offers advice on how to fill out complicated tax forms and determine if individuals are eligible for benefits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. For more information on these programs, simply call 311.

  • State law provides that residents may place a proposition on the November ballot, allowing voters to decide whether to ban or allow liquor sales at a single address or in their entire precinct. Residents can call 311 for more information about this “Local Referenda” , as well as inquiry about the dates, times and locations of scheduled community meetings regarding this issue. 

  •  Finally, if you are unsure where to go for services and programs within the City of Chicago, or to which department you should direct your questions and/or concerns, 311 operators will be able to direct you to the appropriate parties.