Old Cell Phones Become New Emergency Line for Hobbs Residents

By Camaron Abundes  
NewsWest 9

HOBBS- It's a number most of us hope we never need to dial, but for the elderly or victims of domestic violence access to 911 is vital.
"Everybody's got phones that they had ten years ago," Lea County Sheriff Rod Coffman, said.

Sheriff Coffman says instead of tossing out beat up and worn out cell phones, think about donating them. Just a couple months ago, the Lea County Sheriff's Department got involved with Project Care, a grant program to give people in need old emergency cell phones.

"Those phones can be re-programmed," Sheriff Coffman said. "It gives elderly and other victims of crime a way to communicate with 911."

Through Project Care, the phones are sent off and scrubbed of old information and existing service plans. They are then re-programmed just to call 911.

"There is no phone bill coming in," Coffman says a victim of domestic violence could keep the phone hidden from his/her spouse, "they don't have to know they have it, but they can get help, if they need it."

The elderly who are on a fixed income can also use the phone without having to worry about a bill.

If you would like to donate, contact Captain James Wilmeth at 575-396-1162.