Vancouver police provide free 911 mobile phones for seniors

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Vancouver police are handing free 911 mobile phones to low income seniors to ensure their safety.

Seniors on fixed or low incomes are sometimes less inclined to rely on technology for safety and support, particularly if that support involves a monthly cost, the VPD said, in a news release Wednesday.

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The phones do not come with data, texting, or internet capabilities, and can only be used to call 911 during emergencies.

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“Many seniors live alone, making them especially vulnerable during emergencies, especially if they don’t have family or neighbours to easily lean on,” says Const. Tania Visintin, a spokesperson for the VPD.

She said the phones will include a 14-day standby time, which means the phone does not need to be charged every day, and large, easy-to-read keys.

Police did not provide a set age to qualify for the phones. Visintin said they would prefer just to have people who feel they meet the criteria come by and speak with a VPD staff member, so they don’t exclude anyone.

The phones can be picked up at the Public Information Counter at 2120 Cambie Street. The seniors are asked to provide a piece of identification that shows their first and last name.

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