Thanks to Hacienda's Pacific Bell Wireless, the safety of high school students and teachers throughout Northern California has just been given a large boost. The company has donated 10,000 wireless PCS phones to schools as part of the company's SAFE (School Airtime for Emergencies) Phone Program, in support of Governor Gray Davis' School Safety Wireless Phone Program. The donation is valued at $2 million, plus airtime.
Working together in the Tri-Valley with Pacific Bell Wireless to administer the SAFE program are the Governor's Office of Criminal Justice Planning, the county office of education, the sheriff's department, local law enforcement agencies and the high schools.
The phones will be programmed to connect only to the CHP and local law enforcement agencies.
"The phones will be important for use at sports events, in school common areas, and on outdoor field trips, where there are no land lines," says Gary Winuk, deputy director of the Governor's Office of Criminal Justice and Planning in Sacramento. "What's especially important is that these preprogrammed phones will connect directly to local law enforcement agencies in the city where the school is located. The key to law enforcement is response time."
"We are very excited to be part of this important program," adds Alison Costa, spokesperson for Pacific Bell Wireless. Costa says that a number of Tri-Valley high schools, including Amador, Foothill, and Village in Pleasanton, are among the 550 in the Bay Area and Southern San Joaquin Valley that will receive phones and services.
Winuk says that this program also helps to form partnerships between school and law enforcement agencies, which can then work closely with schools to review their safety programs.
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