Unused or discarded cell phones may be the difference between life and death for some, and West Liberty University Campus Police have teamed up with the 911 Cell Phone Bank in an effort to distribute phones to people who may need to call 9-1-1 in case of emergency.

Locally, unused or discarded phones may be dropped off at the Campus Police office in the lower level of Shaw Hall. The police will send the phones to the 911 Cell Phone Bank. The next shipment will be made on March 31. As this is an ongoing project, phones will be accepted at any time, along with cases, chargers or extra batteries.

The 911 Cell Phone Bank is an organization that reconditions the devices. The phones are stripped of personal information and reprogrammed to dial only the emergency 9-1-1 number. The group then provides cell phones free of charge to senior citizens, individuals who live alone, victims of violent crimes and others who may have no way of contacting 9-1-1 for an emergency.

“It is important to note that these phones will have no other personal information or service attached,” said Lt. Thomas A. Hostutler of the WLU Campus Police department.

 “They are strictly for use in an emergency situation. Those who donate old cell phones are asked to donate accessories that go with the phones such as chargers or cell phone cases.

 “Unfortunately, many of our seniors today, as well as many victims of crime, cannot afford regular phone service, let alone the luxury of a cell phone,” Hostutler said. “By donating your used cell phone, you are providing people in need with a link to police and fire services in an emergency, which can be the difference between life and death.”

 Anyone who knows of a person who may need one of these telephones should contact Hostutler at (304) 336-8021 or [email protected] .