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Assignment: Obtain a Phone For a Woman With Medical Issues

ASSIGNMENT: Obtain a phone for a woman with medical issues and no way of communicating with her doctor, family, or police.

REFERRING OFFICER: Columbus Division of Police Sergeant Amber Rich, 9 Precinct (East Side)

Sergeant Rich contacted us after being dispatched to a wellness check on Miss Terri, who had missed an important medical appointment. No one was able to make contact with her because her telephone had been cut off after some financial problems. Once Sgt Rich was able to determine that Miss Terri was OK, her attention turned to fixing the problem of missing appointments and being out of touch with family and her doctors.

Sergeant Rich contacted us and Sergeant Matt Harris of CPD's Mobile Crisis Response Unit, whom we've had the pleasure of working with in the past. Sergeant Harris referred Miss Terri to a social worker, who will be able to see if there are support services available to her that might be helpful long-term, while we worked on the phone aspect.

Sgt Rich felt a smartphone would be a better choice for Miss Terri than a landline, since she'd be able to program in all the numbers she would need to call. She also felt confident that Miss Terri would be able to use it once someone showed her.

We didn't feel comfortable letting her go another day without being able to call for help if she needed it, so we met with Sgt Rich at the Metro by T-Mobile at 5865 Sawmill Rd, where the owner, Yazen, showed us two excellent (free!) cell phones. We also picked out a case and screen protector. We purchased 12 months of service at $30 a month. She'll get unlimited talk/text, and 2GB of data. She'll be able to talk to her sister as much as she wants! How fun.

When Yazen found out what we were doing, he insisted on donating the case and screen protector. Super sweet of him. He was also very nice about talking us through things. Sgt Rich wrote down all of the relevant details, typed it up in large print in a Word document, and gave it to Miss Terri with her phone. Yazen also set the phone to large type so it will be easy for Miss Terri to read it. He couldn't have been nicer.

Before she headed back to the East Side, Sgt Rich texted her officers and asked if any of them "speak Android," she being an iPhone person herself. Officer John Gussler happily volunteered, and as you can see he did a great job.

Miss Terri cried when they gave her the cell phone. They added the CPD non-emergency number to it (614-645-4545), her sister's number, and relevant medical numbers. She has a lengthy appointment today and said she'll spend the time going through her phone, playing with it.

Thank you to our donors to our general fund who allow us to do Assignments like these quickly.

What's very cute about this picture is that we'd originally picked out a different case for Miss Terri, but found out it didn't fit the phone. We were disappointed because we liked that one, but chose this one instead. Guess what? It's her favorite color. Look--it even matches her purse. We have a saying, "Things always work out for Starfish," and boy is that true here.


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