Verizon Wireless Offers Help To Glendale Women Threatened By Stalking/Domestic Violence

Verizon Wireless Offers Help To Glendale Women Threatened By Stalking/Domestic Violence

Specially-Programmed Cellular Phones Assist Potential Domestic Violence Victims

June 26, 2000


Andrew Colley, Verizon Wireless,

Sgt. Kim Lardie, Glendale Police Department,

GLENDALE, Calif. -- The Glendale Police Department is joining forces with Verizon Wireless, Motorola and the Wireless Foundation in an effort to combat stalking and domestic violence in Glendale. As a part of the Wireless Foundation's "Call to Protect" program, 10 wireless phones, donated by Motorola, combined with a year's worth of free service from Verizon Wireless will provide potential victims with an emergency communication tool.

If the carrier of the phone fears possible violence or has been victimized, pressing one button on the phone will directly connect her with a Glendale Police Department emergency dispatcher, who can immediately assess the situation and send help.

"The Glendale Police Department has approximately 65 domestic violence related cases per month," said Sergeant Kim Lardie of the Glendale Police Department. "These phones help to ease the minds of these victims by allowing them the ability to communicate with law enforcement from anywhere."

"The Glendale Police Department is enthusiastic to be in a partnership with Verizon Wireless, Motorola, and the Wireless Foundation," Glendale Police Captain Gerald Stolze, stated. "This partnership will enhance the Glendale Police Department's new domestic violence response team which has been working to actively combat domestic violence within the community. The domestic violence response team is a coordinated response between law enforcement and domestic violence service advocates. The team was developed to work towards the empowerment of women and children and towards bringing an end to domestic violence within the community."

Domestic violence is the single largest cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the U.S., according to the Family Violence Prevention Fund. Each year, between two to four million women are battered, and 2,000 of those die of their injuries.

"Statistics indicate that a woman is physically abused every nine seconds in this country," said Mike Finley, regional president of Verizon Wireless. "We know cellular phones cannot solve the domestic violence problem, but we hope that by providing a phone and access to emergency services, we can make the victims feel a lot safer."

The Glendale Police Department will loan the cellular phones to victims of violent crime who meet the program criteria. The phones are specially programmed to connect directly to the Glendale Police Department Emergency Dispatch Center or 911. A Glendale Police Department program administrator will train each victim on the use of cellular phones and proper 911 calling.

As required by California law, all 911 calls placed by the victims using the cellular phones will go directly to the CHP, who may either respond or route the calls to the nearest police or sheriff's office.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 16 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 4 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE:BEL) and Vodafone AirTouch Plc (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. Verizon Wireless will be further strengthened by the addition of the wireless assets of GTE Corp. (NYSE:GTE) when it completes its merger with Bell Atlantic. When the merger is complete, the new company will have a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. Verizon Wireless, headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, is 30,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company in its Media Center on the Web at: