PITTSBURGH, PA — Local community safety efforts got a boost recently when Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile donated 18 cellular phones and free airtime for emergency service to the Pittsburgh Zone 4 Public Safety Council.
The donation is part of Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's participation in a national program entitled "Communities on Phone Patrol" (COPP), where free phones and airtime are given to citizen neighborhood watch groups.
Florian Zwitch, president of the Pittsburgh Zone 4 Public Safety Council and the West End/Elliott Citizens Council, accepted the phones and said the donation will support their efforts tremendously.
"These phones will give our volunteers an immediate link to emergency services when they are on patrol," Zwitch said. "They will be very instrumental in helping to eliminate problems in our neighborhoods."
Zwitch said the communities within the Zone 4 Public Safety Council will celebrate this donation along with other community safety programs at a "Safety in Our Hometown" fair scheduled for June 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the 800 block of Lorenz Avenue in Elliott. The cellular phones will be given to the neighborhood watch group leaders at that time.
"We are strongly committed to putting our wireless technology to work to enhance safety in the communities we serve," said Jerry Fountain, regional vice president for Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile. "With this donation, we support a group of citizens who are working to improve their own neighborhoods."
The Pittsburgh Zone 4 Public Safety Council covers 18 communities in the West End and South Hills sections of the City of Pittsburgh, including West End, Windgap, Westwood, Sheraden, Mt. Washington, Duquesne Heights, Crafton Heights, Chartiers City, Brookline, Beechview, Banksville, Oakwood, Overbrook, Elliott, Esplen, Fairywood, East Carnegie and Ridgemont.
The COPP program was established last year by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) Foundation, which works in conjunction with the Community Policing Consortium to review requests for equipment and coordinate the donations.
Community crime watch groups interested in this program can obtain more information or an application for requesting equipment by contacting the Community Policing Consortium, 1726 M St., NW, Suite 801, Washington, DC; phone number 800-833-3085; or on the Internet at www.communitypolicing.org.
Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile, the largest wireless service provider on the East Coast, has its Pittsburgh Regional headquarters in McCandless Township with a 24-hour-a-day Customer Service Department. The company has 18 retail locations throughout the region.
For more information about the "Safety in Our Hometown" fair, contact Florian Zwitch at 418-4673.