Local residents who take part in a program that gives those who need a new car seat will have something to remember a fallen Polk County officer for years to come.

Previously one of the ways that Polk County Police Detective Kristen Hearne helped out the community was to work with local residents to install car and booster seats via a program through the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. So when Safe Kids Georgia heard about Hearne’s death, they decided to show their support for the community mourning her loss by making sure the local coalition had what they needed.

Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Rachel Haddix, who heads up Polk County’s Safe Kids Coalition program, said that herself and Hearne were two of those who were trained to teach classes and install car seats for local residents who have been found to either have seats that needed to be replaced, or those who lost them due to the need to throw the old one away after an automobile accident.

Safe Kids Georgia decided to add to the number available to Polk County, providing 32 more seats to the program valued at more than $1,100. Additionally Haddix had the help of Southern Dream Supply the car seats will that are distributed through the program will all have memorial stickers placed on the side to memorialize Hearne. They were provided free of charge.

Those interested in taking part in the program can do so through the Polk County Health Department or the Sheriff’s Office. They’ll provide seats for those who have low income. Call the Sheriff’s Office at 770-749-2900 for more information on how to participate.

Haddix said car seats should be replaced every six years, and that children as they grow should be moved from car seats, to booster seats. All car seats that have been in a car and involved in a wreck should be immediately replaced.

Polk County’s Safe Kids Coalition receives funding for the seats through both Safe Kids Georgia grants, and funds from the Georgia Department of Public Health.