ALBANY, N.Y. — Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile, a participant in the Cellular Telephone Industry Association (CTIA's) national crime-fighting effort called Communities On Phone Patrol (COPP), today donated cellular phones and service to four Albany-area neighborhood watch groups -- Washington Park Neighborhood Association, Park South Neighborhood Association, Hudson Park Neighborhood Association, and Center Square Neighborhood Association.
It was also one year ago today -- last July 17, 1996 -- when President Clinton and the wireless industry launched COPP, a program that provides volunteer neighborhood patrol groups with free cellular phones. Since the launch of COPP, nearly 8,000 wireless phones have been donated to neighborhood watch patrols that protect 50 million Americans. The phones are pre-programmed with emergency service numbers so volunteers can immediately reach law enforcement officials when they spot crime in their neighborhoods.
"Cities throughout the country who have participated in the COPP program have seen crime drop by as much as 47 percent," said Ken Dixon, executive director for the Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile Upstate Region. "Each day over 50,000 calls are made to 911 and other emergency numbers from wireless phones. Whether it's reporting a crime or accident, or providing basic communications in time of disaster or emergency, wireless improves personal and community safety."
In the past year, Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile has provided phones and services for 260 watch groups.
At today's press conference, Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile also cited that since participating in the COPP program, Salt Lake City's Mobile Neighborhood Watch reported a 47 percent reduction in burglaries, while break-ins are down 27 percent; in Chicago's Rogers Park, crime has decreased 33 percent in six months; and in a sampling of 11 communities in Dade County, Florida, burglaries dropped 33 percent and robberies decreased 24 percent.
To request a COPP application, neighborhood watch patrols can contact the Community Policing Consortium at 1-800-833-3085.
Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile is the largest wireless service provider on the East Coast and the second largest in the United States. The company offers a full range of wireless personal communications services, including voice, data, and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile has more than 4.6 million customers and 6,500 employees in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and, through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. The company was formed in July, 1995, by combining Bell Atlantic Mobile's and NYNEX Mobile's cellular operations.