Norfolk receives national Citizen-Engaged Communities award

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The Public Technology Institute recently announced that Norfolk received the 2016-2018 Citizen-Engaged Communities award. This is the second time the city has received the national award.

The award was given to recognize the Norfolk Cares Call Center’s impact on neighborhoods through citizen reports. The PTI said that Norfolk residents who contact the call center are actively making Norfolk a better place to live, work and play.

Norfolk is one of eight municipalities in the country to receive the award this year.

“In a city of 247,000 citizens, we are proud to serve as that single point of contact for everything from trash pickup to answering questions about where the best place is to live,“ said Halima Akar, customer service manager, in a news release. “In a day where automation is everywhere, it’s important to provide a human touch and responsive service to citizens who call us. Every request is tracked and shared with city departments and partner organizations so working together we can improve our city.”

The award was specifically given to the city for using call center data to improve neighborhoods surrounding Old Dominion University. Partnering with ODU’s office of off-campus housing, Norfolk Cares developed an educational campaign for students on rental rights, access to city services, trash and nuisance codes.

Data from the call center was also used in the Park Place neighborhood. Norfolk Cares staff worked with the department of neighborhood development and the Park Place civic league to address neighborhood complaints, which resulted in a 50 percent decrease in bulk waste left at the curb and trash cans left on the curbs on non-collection days.

For more information about the call center or to file a report, call the Norfolk Cares Call Center at 664-6510 or visit them online.

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