The Wildwood Police Department has partnered with 911 Cell Phone Bank and started the Donate a Phone Program for Victims of Domestic Violence and Human Sex Trafficking (DAPP).
Wildwood Police Departments will be collecting donations of all portable electronic devices daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the department. Whether in good or flawed condition, they will collect phones that are broken, cracked, chipped or missing pieces.
Once collected, devices will be sent to the phone bank where they use high-tech computer software to erase the previous owner’s data information. They fix the phones if needed and send them back out to police agencies around the Unites States so they can provide emergency phones to victims of domestic violence and human sex trafficking.
Officer Crystal Acevedo, who was honored this past December for her outstanding work, reached out to the phone bank after her lieutenant asked her to research ways to help victims in Wildwood. A survivor of domestic abuse herself, Acevedo said she knows how hard it is to ask for help and find the resources needed to leave.
“Victims usually have no way to contact 911 or are scared to,” said Acevedo.
However, partnering with the phone bank can give victims the tools they need to get help. Victims can hide their phones and use them for emergencies, to gather resources to leave, or to reach out to local safe havens to assist with relocation.
“Our police department does not have that many resources or safe havens for domestic violence and sex trafficking victims,” said Acevedo. “Partnering with the bank will allow us to give them those things.”
If you are a Wildwood resident and trying to leave a domestic violence situation, you may be eligible for a free DAPP phone. Contact the Wildwood Police Department at (352) 661-4628.