Recently our Association received a letter from a neighbor concerned about the number of potholes popping up on our streets.  Her letter urged us to remind other Hilltop residents to report the pot holes you notice (or may literally run into!) via the Denver 311 system.   Thank you Brigit for the suggestion – this is a really important topic and we thought it would be a good idea to expound on it a bit.

Why is it important to report potholes, or to report a crime you may consider to be minor and/or you don’t want to bother the police?

Because each call to 311, 911 or to the 720-913-2000 non-emergency number for the police, is recorded into a database.   City agencies, including the Denver Police Department and Public Works, use their databases to discover where there are needs (multiple calls about an issue) and can then deploy extra resources if needed.  Additionally, they can also extrapolate data from a database to inform them when budgeting for future needs, steering future investment, and driving the city’s capital improvement program. This data helps our city agencies make better decisions.

Unlike Ernestine, 311 Operators give you a case number to track the progress of the call you make.

311 is an easy to remember number for residents to call to report a problem or to find help in navigating the city services.  This can include pot holes, vehicle registration, property information, recycling and trash collection, graffiti, or wildlife issues – any concerns you have about something the city manages.  The call line is staffed Monday to Friday 7 am to 8 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm. You can also submit these same concerns online through 311’s online portal:

Additionally, calling 311 also provides a better customer experience for the caller. When you call 311 to report and issue you will be given a tracking number that you can use to follow up on your concern.

That’s the why.  Now the whom…

Whom Do You Call 101 (kindly provided by our City Council Office)

911 – Call 911 for emergencies. If you are witnessing a crime in progress or if your life is in danger, call 911.

720-913-2000 – If you see something suspicious or feel like something is out of place and think it might be a police matter, you can call the Denver Police Department’s non-emergency line at 720-913-2000. The Denver Police often say, “if you see something, say something” even if you aren’t sure what you are seeing.  They are the trained professionals who can determine whether a perceived threat is credible. Sometimes people feel like they don’t want to bother the police on something that might be trivial. Believe us, the police want you to call. Reporting a burglary or vandalism on NextDoor or Facebook but not the police means the police can’t know where there is a recurring problem and apply resources to it.  Denver Police base much of the deployment of their resources on where they receive calls for service so it is important to call and get them to record this in their database.

Did you know the rest of the numbers in this sequence will connect you directly to other services? If you mis-dial you might be leaving concerns with the wrong number!

211 Connects to Mile-High United Way
411 Connects to information about phone numbers (like in the old days)
511 Connects to travel information from CDOT
611 Connects to someone to help you with mobile phone problems
711 Connects to a relay service for hearing impairment
811 Connects to information about where you can and shouldn’t dig in your yard

The city does not manage issues related to Xcel Energy, Denver Water, RTD, or Denver Public Schools, among others, but 311 responders will give you the direct numbers to contact them.

Many thanks to our City Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman’s office for this information!