BEDMINSTER, NJ and LOS ANGELES — Verizon Wireless, the nation's most reliable wireless service provider, said today it is expanding its efforts to work with local law enforcement agencies to raise awareness of domestic violence and to help curb the effects of this national epidemic. Through its HopeLineSM phone donation and recycling program, Verizon Wireless provides support to victims of domestic violence and the people and agencies that seek to help them.
The HopeLine program encourages people to donate no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries and accessories from any service provider. The phones are then refurbished, recycled and sold, and Verizon Wireless uses the proceeds to aid survivors of domestic violence by awarding monetary grants and donating wireless phones with prepaid airtime to not-for-profit human services and law enforcement agencies across the country. These agencies then distribute the phones and use the contributions to develop or sponsor programs that help the victims of domestic violence.
Record of Cooperation and Partnership with Law Enforcement
Verizon Wireless has a long history of working with state and local law enforcement agencies in their efforts to stop domestic violence. Next week in Los Angeles, Verizon Wireless is one of the sponsors of the annual meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), raising awareness of the HopeLine program as well as the company's toll-free "800" number for compliance efforts and programs.
Verizon Wireless' relationships with local law enforcement range from providing phones and prepaid airtime for government employees involved in investigating incidents of domestic violence; donating phones programmed to dial 9-1-1 or the local police department to community criminal watch groups; and supporting counseling programs and other initiatives designed to bring attention to the issue, its causes and prevention.
- In Los Angeles, Verizon Wireless provided the City Attorney's office six BroadbandAccess data cards that enable high-speed wireless Internet access, along with two years of free service, so its child abuse prosecutors can be more efficient and productive in the field.
- In New York, Verizon Wireless recently donated 25 wireless phones, programmed to dial 9-1-1 and the city's Safe Horizon hotline number, to the Manhattan District Attorney's Witness Aid Services Unit, which will lend the phones to women at risk to carry with them to call for help in an emergency.
- Also in New York, Verizon Wireless pledged $100,000 in HopeLine funds to support the operations of the New York City President's Family Justice Center, which allows domestic violence victims access to services.
- In Pennsylvania, Verizon Wireless supported a program in Allegheny County that helps domestic violence victims more easily obtain Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders. A donation from Verizon Wireless covered the costs of video-conferencing equipment at two area hospitals that will enable victims to file for emergency protection orders on-site at any time, rather than being required to do so during regular court office hours, or at Night Court in downtown Pittsburgh.
- In Virginia, Verizon Wireless has worked together with the Attorney General's office to donate 100 HopeLine phones to domestic violence victims in the Commonwealth as well as an ongoing recycling drive that has collected more than 1,200 no-longer-used phones donated via recycling bins located in five regional Attorney General's offices throughout the state.
- In Ohio, various state agencies, county sheriff's offices, and local police departments have served as collection points for individuals to donate used wireless phones to HopeLine.
- In Massachusetts, Verizon Wireless donated 30 wireless phones to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office, and during the last 18 months, the Boston Police Department's Property Management Unit has donated all lost or stolen wireless phones collected an estimated 500 to date -- to HopeLine.
- In North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, Verizon Wireless donates phones to a number of police departments, sheriff's offices and public safety groups for use in domestic violence units or for fundraising, and in Lexington County, S.C., the company recently helped the Sheriff's Department launch a program focused specifically on preventing elder abuse.
- In Illinois, Kansas and Missouri, Verizon Wireless and the Attorneys General debuted graphic partner abuse posters, including local telephone numbers for counseling assistance, on college campuses.
- In Utah, the state Attorney General worked with Verizon Wireless to raise awareness of domestic violence issues and called on Utah businesses to collect used wireless phones to be donated to the HopeLine Program.
Verizon Wireless began recycling phones as part of the HopeLine program in 2001, and since then more than 2 million phones have been collected. In 2004, customers of all wireless service providers have donated nearly 650,000 phones to HopeLine an almost 40 percent increase from the previous 12 months, during which 437,000 phones were collected.
As part of its HopeLine program, Verizon Wireless also makes financial grants and other donations of wireless phones, equipment and service to local, regional and national domestic violence organizations, and between January 2002 and June 2004, the company donated more than $5 million.
Wireless phones and equipment can be donated to the HopeLine program at any time at any Verizon Wireless Communications Store across the country. For more information about the program, customers can visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 42.1 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 receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto www.thenewsmarket.com/verizonwireless.
Verizon Wireless encourages customers who are upgrading their wireless phone to participate in its exclusive HopeLine phone-recycling program. The national HopeLine program distributes previously owned wireless phones to victims of domestic violence, supports non-profit domestic violence advocacy groups and provides an environmentally safe method of recycling phones. Donations are accepted at all 1,200-plus Verizon Wireless Communications Stores across the country. For additional information, customers can also visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.