New York City, NY — Police Commissioner Howard Safir, Deputy Commissioner for Community Affairs Yolanda Jimenez and Bell Atlantic Mobile New York Metro Region President Charles Hand met today on the steps of P.S. 20 in lower Manhattan to present 200 wireless phones donated by the company to assist New York City school crossing guards. The phones, programmed to dial 9-1-1 at the touch of a button, will allow crossing guards to summon help quickly and easily in emergencies.
"Every day, our school crossing guards are on the front lines protecting our children as they navigate busy city streets and intersections on their way to class," Police Commissioner Safir said. "These phones will allow guards to call for help without ever leaving their posts and the children who depend on them.
"The Bell Atlantic Mobile wireless phones also will equip the guards to serve as additional eyes and ears for the NYPD. Their unique vantage points in our communities put them in perfect positions to report car accidents, dangerous drivers and suspected crimes," he said.
The donation is part of Bell Atlantic Mobile's "Wireless at Work" community service program, one of a series of company initiatives designed to bring the benefits of wireless technology to communities throughout the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area.
"Our wireless phones already are in use by crossing guards in Nassau County and in seven Northern New Jersey towns where parents report a new sense of security as they send their children to school," said Hand. "These phones are restricted to 9-1-1 emergency use only, so there is no airtime cost and no cost to taxpayers."
Police Commissioner Safir explained that the phones will be distributed to crossing guards stationed at some of the city's busiest intersections.
Over the past two years, Bell Atlantic Mobile has donated some 700 wireless phones throughout the New York metro area including more than 100 phones to the NYPD Foundation for community safety projects, including local Citizen Observation Patrols and Model Block projects.
Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East, covering 112,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 5.7 million customers and 7,000 employees from Maine to Georgia and, through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. Bell Atlantic Mobile's parent is one of the world's largest wireless communications companies, with domestic operations in 25 states and international investments in Mexico, Europe and the Pacific Rim. For more information on Bell Atlantic global operations visit: www.bellatlantic.com/worldwide.