LAUREL, MD — Prince George's County Sheriff Michael A. Jackson today accepted a Verizon Wireless HopeLine® grant of $6,000 along with 100 wireless phones to support domestic violence victims, as part of a change in the way the county handles 9-1-1 domestic abuse complaints. Historically, such calls have been directed to the Police Department. Starting on April 30, 2006 and for a 90-day period in District III of the county, those calls will be handled by the Sheriff's Office.
"We want to provide comprehensive service to the victims of domestic abuse," Sheriff Jackson said. "Our plan is to be with the victim through every step of the judicial process if we're needed." The Sheriff's Office has also added advocates who will offer guidance to the complainants from the initial emergency call to the serving of the final protective order, as well as resource connection and court accompaniment.
The Verizon Wireless donation was made through the company's HopeLine program, which collects no-longer-used wireless phones to be refurbished, recycled or sold; proceeds are donated to domestic violence advocacy groups or used to purchase wireless phones with airtime for use by victims. Phones are accepted for recycling in 1,300 Verizon Wireless Communications stores across the country. In addition, the Prince George's County Sheriff's office located at 1601 McCormick Drive in Largo, Maryland will be collecting phones for recycling through HopeLine.
"The reason the HopeLine program has been so successful is because of all the many kind- hearted people across the state of Maryland who've taken the time to donate their no longer used phones," said John Johnson, Verizon Wireless communications director. "We're grateful to all those who've donated phones, and invite anyone with old phones and accessories to make them count by recycling them in a way that helps domestic violence victims become survivors through the efforts of the innovative program the county is about to embark on."
The company's donation follows a grant of $2,500 awarded to the county last year for a domestic violence awareness television PSA produced and aired by the Sheriff's Office. The spot features local domestic violence survivors including Lisa Spicknall, whose children, Richie and Destiny, were killed by their father Richard Spicknall in 1999. Lisa Spicknall is now working for the Sheriff's Office as a domestic violence advocate at the Upper Marlboro Courthouse and is the mother of two little boys.
Since 2001, consumers have donated more than 3 million phones to HopeLine and more than 600,000 phones have been recycled. Verizon Wireless has distributed nearly $10 million in cash and in-kind contributions to local domestic violence prevention and awareness programs across the country. All wireless phone models, batteries and chargers from any carrier are accepted. For store locations and additional information, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.