Howard County Domestic Violence Victims Get Added Protection
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HOWARD COUNTY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS GET ADDED PROTECTION
Bell Atlantic Mobile Teams Up with State's Attorney and
Police To Provide Instant Wireless Access to 911
August 27, 1998
Audrey Schaefer, APR,
COLUMBIA, Md. -- Starting today, Howard County's domestic violence
victims who are in the gravest danger will get added weapons for their
defense: cellular phones. The State's Attorney's Office for Howard
County, Md., Bell Atlantic Mobile, Domestic Violence Center, and the
Howard County Police Department are launching a program to give
victims in continued fear of domestic abuse instant access to 9-1-1, any
Abused persons who have been identified by the State's Attorney,
Domestic Violence Center or the Police Department as being at high risk
for future victimization will be issued a free Bell Atlantic Mobile wireless
phone. If the person is threatened or attacked by the abuser, or a
restraining order is being violated, the police can be alerted immediately.
Last year, there were 2523 calls to 9-1-1 in Howard County reporting
incidents of domestic violence, and 712 restraining orders were served by
the Howard County Police Department to protect county residents from
Bell Atlantic Mobile is donating 25 cellular phones and free, hotlined 9-1-
1 calls, valued at $18,000 for the first three years of the program.
"These phones will be a great help to women who are in dangerous
relationships or who are attempting to get away from a violent partner,"
said Domestic Violence Center Director Judy Clancy. "Having the safety-
net of immediate access to 911 may give women the courage to leave
their abusive relationships."
"We're very grateful to Bell Atlantic Mobile for partnering with us in this
effort, since victims of violence will now have immediate police contact, "
said State's Attorney Marna McLendon.
"We're trying to do as much as possible to ensure the safety of domestic
violence victims here in Howard County," said Howard County Chief
"We're hoping these phones give some peace of mind to people living in
constant fear for their safety," said Gary Schulman, president of Bell
Atlantic Mobile in the Washington/Baltimore region. "Under these
circumstances, the ability to contact police at a moment's notice can
literally mean the difference between life and death."
Bell Atlantic Mobile, with corporate headquarters in Bedminster, NJ, and
regional headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., is the largest wireless service
provider on the east coast and one of the largest in the U.S. The company
has a long-standing commitment to contributing to domestic violence
prevention programs throughout its service area and will donate $100,000
in goods, services and funds to fighting domestic violence this year alone.