PO Receives 911 Phones From Knights of Pythias By Miriam Rosenberg
PO Receives 911 Phones From Knights of Pythias
By Miriam Rosenberg
The Knights of Pythias presented the postal service with emergency 911 cell phones for Far Rockaway’s over 62 letters carriers on March 9. The donated phones, which are programmed for 911 use only, are meant to increase safety for letter carriers and the community.
"We had an incident two weeks ago where [one of] our carrier’s was as saulted on Beach 126 Street," said Post Master George Buonocore. "So by having these phones the carriers, if there’s an emergency for themselves, they can call 911 or if [they] see somebody in the neighborhood in trouble they can call 911. It’s a positive for the carrier and the community."
The donation of the phones is part of a 911-cell phone program that, since its inception, has given out thousands of phones. In addition to letter carriers, phones have been given to senior citizens and battered women.
"The Knights of Pythias started this program in New Jersey by collecting phones and having them retooled so that they can be workable for 911 emergencies," said Lloyd Merson, Grand Chancellor for the Knights of Pythias. "Some people have been lucky to use them to save their lives.
"It’s a program we’re spreading to New York now. The Knights of Pythias will probably have this going throughout the country."
Angela Henry and Dean Ceville, who work at the Arverne post office, represented letter carriers at the presentation.
"It does make me feel safer, and I also see it as another way for the postal service to use technology as far as keeping us safer," said Henry, who delivers mail to the Ocean Bay and Oceanside Apartment Houses. "Also [it’s] helping the community. If there’s any way we can help85we’re out there six, seven hours a day. So, it’s a good thing."
Ceville agreed, but he had a personal reason for liking the new system.
"It’s going to provide safety for us," said Ceville, whose route is in the Nordack section of Arverne. "I had an incident before where I was robbed. I think it would have came in handy back then, if I would have had fast access to the police."
Buonocore said that letter carriers in the 11692 zip code would have their phones by the end of the day on March 9. The rest of the phones will be given out by the end of the week.
Merson told The Wave that anyone who has a phone they would like to donate could do it through the Knights of Pythias or by dropping the phone off at a post office.Joining Buonocore and Merson for the presentation at the Beach 59th Street Post Office in Arverne were Mike Sukenick (Past Assistant Chief Deputy Grand Chancellor), Michael Gliner (Past Deputy Grand Chancel lor) and Alan Reiman (Assistant Chief Deputy Grand Chancellor) from the Knights of Pythias. Also seeing Far Rock away carriers receive phones were Ray Slagus (manager of the 11692 post office) and Police Officer Michael Valentino of the 101st Pre cinct.