In commemoration of Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 22 - 28, the Baltimore Police Department is donating approximately 300 no-longer-used wireless phones to the Verizon Wireless HopeLine phone-recycling program and, in turn, Verizon Wireless is donating $2,500 to the Women's Law Center of Maryland.

The nonprofit Baltimore-based Women's Law Center has worked for 35 years to protect and preserve women's rights, and Verizon Wireless' donation will be used to support its Protection Order Advocacy and Representation Project (POARP), which provides representation to victims of domestic violence in protective court hearings in Baltimore City's Circuit Court. POARP attorneys work with clients who have been abused by an intimate partner.

"Crime Victims' Rights Week is a perfect opportunity to make this contribution to the Verizon Wireless HopeLine program," said Baltimore Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm. "All too often our officers are called upon to respond to domestic violence incidents, and we're very gratified that the phones we've recycled will help victims and raise awareness of domestic violence and its consequences at home and in the workplace."

Verizon Wireless' work with regional law enforcement and government agencies supporting violence prevention and awareness efforts includes: donating high-speed BroadbandAccess Internet service to victim service providers and personnel in local domestic violence units; sponsoring phone collection drives with local sheriff and police departments; and creating a victim assistance fund in honor of former Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.

The HopeLine program collects no-longer-used wireless phones to be refurbished, recycled or sold; proceeds are donated to domestic violence advocacy groups or used to purchase wireless phones with airtime for use by victims. Since 2001, three million wireless phones have been collected at stores around the country and in special collections organized for interested businesses, law enforcement agencies and civic groups.