FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 1, 2000
|Contact:||Sunny Mindel / Michael Anton (212) 788-2958|
Mayor Giuliani today announced that the P.H.O.N.E.S. (People Helping Others in Need of Emergency Services) cell phone collection drive to help domestic violence victims and others in need of emergency services will be extended for another two weeks. The P.H.O.N.E.S. drive, announced March 30th, was originally intended to end April 30th. But, due to the overwhelming response from New Yorkers, the City will extend the drive through May 15th.
In addition, cell phones pre-programmed to 9-1-1 will immediately be made available to livery cab drivers who need phones. The remainder of the thousands of phones collected by the City will made available this summer, after being reprogrammed by Bell Atlantic.
The Mayor was joined by Police Commissioner Howard Safir, First Deputy Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Joseph Giannetto, Commission to Combat Family Violence Executive Director Rhea Mallett, and Bell Atlantic Mobile Manager of Public Relations Kevin Moore.
"When we launched the P.H.O.N.E.S. drive, we had no doubt
that the generosity of New Yorkers would make it a big success, "Mayor
Giuliani said. "Now we're glad to extend it so that we can help even
more people. And we welcome the opportunity to take another step to help protect
the City's livery cab drivers, who work hard performing a vital service under
dangerous circumstances. For those drivers who currently don't have a cell
phone, these donated phones will be lifelines that might save them from tragedy."
Police Commissioner Howard Safir said, "In addition to everything else the Police Department is doing to help protect livery drivers, these phones offer drivers an extra layer of protection. With these phones, drivers who fear for their safety can call for immediate police assistance. A quick call can mean the difference between life and death. We thank the Mayor's Office and Bell Atlantic for their help."
First Deputy Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Joseph Giannetto said, "Making 9-1-1 programmed cellular telephones available to livery drivers who need them is an excellent way to enhance their safety. We will distribute the phones on a first-come, first-serve basis, and will expand on our methods of distribution as the program grows."
Drivers interested in receiving a cell phone should call (212) 676-1056.
Commission to Combat Family Violence Executive Director Rhea Mallet said, "We're confident that the P.H.O.N.E.S. drive met its initial goal of 10,000 phones. We're eager to extend the drive, and to help livery drivers at risk of violent crime."
The P.H.O.N.E.S. program was initiated by the Mayor's Commission to Combat Family Violence, which implements the City's domestic violence strategy. P.H.O.N.E.S. will benefit victims of domestic violence as well as all New Yorkers in need of this valuable lifeline. The P.H.O.N.E.S. program builds upon the several domestic violence programs launched by the Mayor's Commission to Combat Family Violence since its creation in 1994.
New Yorkers and area businesses may place their old cellular telephone, with its battery and charger, in a clear plastic bag and bring it to one of over 300 collection sites throughout the five boroughs. Drop-off sites include: Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, the World Trade Center, the World Financial Center, Bell Atlantic Mobile Stores, Loews, Sony and Cineplex Odeon Theatres, New York Health and Racquet Clubs, Competitive Plus Stores, and all police precincts and firehouses. For additional drop-off locations, or to find out more about the program, visit the City's web site at www.nyc.gov/phones or call 212-788-7878.