The Bluffton Police Department is seeking donations of old cell phones of any kind and any age.
BPD partnering with a Maryland company, Secure the Call, that takes old phones and turns them into a life-saving tool for domestic violence victims and the elderly.
Secure the Call is a nonprofit organization that wipes the donated phones and turns the phones into free 9-1-1 emergency access instruments. Only 9-1-1 can be accessed from the phones. They are intended for those who may need a tool that can dial 9-1-1 immediately.
To clear existing information from the phones, first, all SIM chips are removed from the phones and shredded. Second, the phone is hooked up to a machine that wipes out information electronically and resets it to its original factory settings.
The program has been proven effective. In one case, a woman was home alone in her house when her boyfriend, preparing to attack her, cut through her phone line. He had trashed her cell phone the month before. Fortunately, she had obtained one of the Secure the Call 9-1-1 phones the previous week. She called, and the police quickly arrived.
“People have to remember, not everyone has a cell phone. That’s why programs like this are so vital,” said Bluffton Police Chief Chris Chapmond. “We are proud to partner with Secure the Call, and hope Bluffton citizens donate to the program.”
All cell phones will be accepted, with or without charging cables. Bring phones to the Bluffton Police Department at 101 Progressive St. in Buckwalter Place and place in the Secure the Call barrel in the lobby.