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Rocky Mount Police Department partners with nonprofit to help make emergency calls

A pair of hands holding a cell phone.
Priscilla Du Preez
With this new initiative between Rocky Mount Police Department and Secure the Call, seniors, domestic violence survivors and homeless people would be eligible to receive used cell phones.

The Rocky Mount Police Department is working with Secure the Call, a nonprofit that distributes cell phones to people in need, such as seniors and victims of domestic violence.

The Rocky Mount Police Department has launched a partnership with a nonprofit to give cell phones to those who need them for emergencies.

Secure the Call collects old cell phones from the community, then factory resets them to give them to people who qualify. The phones don't come with a service plan, but there are several things people can use the phones for including dialing 911, said Yolanda Thigpen, Rocky Mount Police Department’s Community Coordinator.

“Individuals can have access to Wi-Fi…so we're talking about libraries and restaurants, fast-food chains, and they can get online to find jobs and other things that we all do with our phones,” she said.

There are several types of recipients who could be eligible for the cell phones, Thingpen added.

“We could give these phones to our seniors,” she said. “So for our seniors who may not have someone living with them, and or may not be on a family plan, these phones will be helpful for those individuals as well.”

Thigpen added domestic violence survivors or people who are homeless could benefit too. People can drop off used cell phones at the Rocky Mount Police Department, Library, or Senior Citizens Center.

Sharryse Piggott is WUNC’s PM Reporter.