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  • Bob Mikler

A Smashed Smartphone Won't Stop a Crime Scene Investigator

With over 1000 law enforcement partners, the 911 Cell Phone Bank often has opportunity to help in ways that deviate somewhat from our mission, providing emergency cell phones to victims of abuse and senior citizens. We have had the opportunity to provide cell phones for event volunteers, display phones for booths at a community event, and even a smartphone as part of a gift package for a retiring Police Chief. But a recent request we received was a little more serious.

About a month ago, we were approached by Ken Lininger, a Crime Scene Investigator for the Winter Garden Police Department, a longtime law enforcement partner of the 911 Cell Phone Bank. Ken had a problem he asked us to help with. In connection with a criminal investigation, a smartphone was needed in order to recreate a damaged phone which may have contained information critical to the case.

The 911 Cell Phone Bank was able to furnish the agency with an exact working replacement, and technicians were able to duplicate the original phone and obtain the information it contained. The outcome of this case has not yet been determined, but now, at least, investigators have the benefit of the information stored on the device.

Ken was grateful for the assistance we provided, but we have to give credit to all of our supporters. The smartphone in this case could just as easily come from one of you, a lost and found department or property and evidence room who trusts us to securely dispose of their electronic devices. This is just another example of how, with your support, we are able to help communities across the country.

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