CITY OF SAN DIEGO, CA
Mayor Susan Golding

San Diego City and County Cellular Telephone Program for Victims of Domestic Violence and Stalking

As a cooperative venture between local criminal justice agencies and the local cellular telephone carrier, this program provided cellular telephones to victims of domestic violence and stalking at no cost. Program specific victims are provided cellular telephones which have been pre-programmed to dial a designated domestic violence number that links directly to the Sheriff's Communication Center. The benefit of the program is that the victim can have the cellular telephone with them at all times, but especially when they are most vulnerable. The cellular telephone provides a tool for security in that emergency law enforcement assistance is just a phone call away.

There is no cost to victims or the participating law enforcement agencies. The phones are provided by and maintained by All State Cellular, and GTE provides the airtime free of charge.. The Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (BFAA) donates the necessary phone lines at the Sheriff's Communication Center (the San Diego Police Department already had a line available that could be dedicated to these cellular phones), and the City of San Diego Women Employee's Association is donating funds for any future training needs the two agencies might have.

The program is designed for the most serious cases, including death threats and stalking. Detectives determine whether a specific victim qualifies for a loaned cellular phone. Among the criteria: a victim must have a domestic violence assault case on file with the appropriate agency and must not be living with an abuser. History of violence and threats by a perpetrator are other considerations to be used in identifying victims eligible to receive one of the specially-programmed phones.

Under the program, a cell phone will be loaned to a qualifying victim for 30 days. A detective will be in regular contact with the victim and will have the discretion to continue the loan of the phone for a longer period, if circumstances dictate.

If successful, this pilot program could expand county-wide.

CONTACT: Sgt. Larry Miller, 1401 Broadway, #759, San Diego, CA 92101, Telephone -(619) 531-2840, Fax - (619) 531-1517.

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