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City advises using 311, not 911, to report fireworks complaints

Posted by: Maya Rao under Public safety Updated: July 2, 2014 - 10:52 AM

Minneapolis is telling residents to call 311 to report complaints about fireworks, but don’t dial the hotline on July 4. It won’t be open.

An advisory from crime prevention analyst Luther Krueger said Minneapolis 911 fields 300 to 400 calls an hour on a typical July 4 evening – at least three to four times more than on a normal day – mostly for noise complaints. Police can’t respond to such a large volume of calls.

“Folks can help make sure emergency calls are answered as quickly as possible, by not calling 911 with fireworks noise complaints,” the email said. Instead, they should call or report complaints online to 311, it said, and dial 911 in situations where fireworks have injured someone, landed on a building or wooded area and pose a fire risk, or people are involved in unruly behavior.

In a separate email, Krueger told the Star Tribune that the emphasis is on reporting to 311 online.

Citizens can also report complaints to 311 through July 4 through a mobile app. City staff will review those and may follow up with the property owner, but will not dispatch a police squad.

And citizens can still call 311 through 7 p.m. Thursday, and starting at 8 a.m. Saturday.

“Most of the fireworks complaints are not 911 issues,” said Don Stickney, director of Minneapolis 311. “It’s not an emergency, it’s a nuisance.”

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