Old phones stopping domestic violence in Stillwater

STILLWATER, N.Y. (NEWS10) — First Sergeant Ray Cordani has been with the Stillwater Police Department for more than twenty years. He says it’s important, not only in October, but all year long to combat an issue that doesn’t appear to be going away, not only in his community, but across the country.

“There’s no doubt about it, these phones have saved lives,” said Sgt. Ray Cordani, Stillwater PD. “Very rarely we get by a day where we don’t respond to domestic violence or abuse, they are sad statistics,” he continued.

Many of those calls come from these old, unused cellphones. For years, they were tucked away in a junk drawer somewhere. That’s until Sergeant Cordani was inspired to take the old and turn it into something new and useful.

Since 2003 Sergeant Cordani says he’s collected at least 4,300 phones and that’s in large part to local business who’ve served as drop of sites like Whiley Brothers in nearby Schaghticoke”

But, it’s not just a free phone – it’s considered back up. They’re specially programmed to dial 911 only.

Sergeant Cordani says over the years he’s had victims walk into his office, sharing emotional stories of survival, crediting him with essentially saving their lives.

“I went home that day knowing I made a difference in someone’s life. That’s what it’s all about,” said Cordani.

He’s hoping this is a program other departments will consider and encourages anyone with any old phone, functioning or not, to help in the fight against domestic violence – one cellphone at a time.

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