On Saturday, November 19, cars wrapped around the Home Depot parking lot as the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) and theTroup County Sheriff’s Department (TCSD) provided a second year of car seat safety checks and giveaways for the entire community. A special grant is provided by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, falling in line with their Georgia Child Passenger Safety Headquarters, to make this event possible.
The state troopers and county deputies who work with the families to check current car seats and install new car seats have to take a four-day class once every two years for an installation certification; they are well trained and equipped to provide the proper safety for each child. Along with professional services from the GSP and the TCSD, the Atlanta Fire Rescue Team and the Fulton County Police Department volunteered to help as well. From unloading the car seats to installing the car seats, from completing paperwork to creating relationships, troopers, deputies, firemen and policemen alike were able to give away hundreds of car seats.
So many of the old car seats had missing straps and duct taped hands. Others that were collected were expired, had been in previous car accidents, and weren’t fit for use. Sheriff James Woodruff reminds parents to check the sticker underneath the car seat for proper installation instructions and further information including expiration dates and weight limits.
“We want to protect our children,” explained the Sheriff’s Department. At this year’s event, educating parents and providing safety for their children was the top priority for law enforcement and Home Depot. Lonnie Rodgers, Manager of the LaGrange Home Depot, explained how excited he and his staff were to host this year’s car seat safety check and giveaway.
He said that this event “falls within our core values: community, children, [and] safety.” Lonnie described local law enforcement as “great community partners”; he said that this was a great way to “pay back [law enforcement] and just be a part of the community. We not only make our living here, but we live here.”
Few car seats were left after the event, but Sergeant 1st Class Maurice Raines of the GSP said that anyone who needs a new car seat can stop by the GSP Patrol Post at 1659 Lafayette Parkway for installation. But, the child must be present in order to receive the car seat.
For more information on car seat safety, check out the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety website at http:// www.gahighwaysafety.org/.
Peyton Hanners Staff Writer