Car-seat installation help back on the road at PD
Published 5:36 am, Friday, January 29, 2016
Police once again are helping Fairfield parents to install car seats for their youngest passengers.
According to Officer Gary Wikman, the earlier program was discontinued several years ago because of budget constraints. But, he said, it was important to Chief Gary MacNamara, and now four officers in the traffic unit have been certified to install the car seats.
Wikman said the officers are trained on how to install both rear and front-facing car seats, and are updated about what car-seat brands have been recalled because of manufacturer’s flaws.
He and Officer Paul Medvegy said parents, whenever possible, should use new car seats, but if they plan to get a used one, they should know if the seat in a vehicle that was involved in an accident, and make sure there are no cracks in the plastic. They can also get the serial number from the car seat to check whether it was recalled.
Connecticut law requires that children travel in car seats until they are 7 years old or weigh 60 pounds.
Sgt. Mike Paris said the clinics are scheduled for the Saturdays when the certified officers are working. There next sessions are planned for Saturday and again on Feb. 27. However, he said, if a parent is in a jam at other times, they can call police headquarters, and if a certified officer is working, they will try to help if possible.
The program is offered free of charge, according to Lt. James Perez, who said there has been increased demand for assistance from new parents.
“Although it seems very simple, it isn’t,” Perez said. “There’s a science behind it.”
Perez said the classes that officers take to become certified installers involve “a lot of science behind weight ratios, and how crashes affect physical movement.”