DCSO grateful for digital cell phones | RecordCourier.com

DCSO grateful for digital cell phones

Staff reports

With the help of the Community Action Team, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has collected 75 used digital cellular phones for its safe line project.

In fact, so many phones were donated, Douglas County Sheriff Lt. Mike Biaggini said he was grateful to the community, but no more are needed.

“This community never ceases to amaze me with its ability to help projects like this,” Biaggini said. “I’ve lived in other communities that I don’t think would have responded like this. We are still getting calls. We’ve run out of ideas how to use them.”

The CAT team publicized the phones were needed last month after AT&T decided to stop donating phones that are given to domestic violence victims.

The phones, available in Douglas County for six years, are programmed by AT&T to connect to the local 911 dispatch center with the push of a button.

Recently, the demand for the phones had grown beyond the three phones the department had available.

Douglas County was the first agency in Nevada to start a safe line program. Because of the growing popularity of the project throughout the county, and because of recent publicity on television programs like “Good Morning America” it became impossible for AT&T to continue to donate phones. They are still providing the programming and service for free.

Because the community responded with so many donations, the safe line project was expanded to 15 cellular phones and a second program, Project Help, was started.

Project Help was organized by Deputy Misty Dee, who coordinates the safe line project. The project will issue the cell phones to other organizations, such as the Douglas County School District for use by crossing guards, playground supervisors, coaching staffs and any other faculty members who have responsibly for student safety. Also, the Parks and Recreation Department staff at youth events will have use of the phones that have already been programmed by AT&T.

Not all of the 75 phones are in working order, but eventually, Biaggini said, they should be able to replace missing batteries or chargers on the remaining 12 phones so they can be used.

Biaggini said any youth organization which needs phones can submit a request.

Contact Deputy Dee, Lt. Biaggini or Sgt. Stan Lamb at the sheriff’s office, 782-9900.