“It shouldn’t move more than an inch,” Cpl. Jamie Mitchell of the Georgia State Patrol said as he placed his hands on two sides of a car seat and shook.
Mitchell was at Garden Lakes Baptist Church Friday supervising the eight police officers and one civilian training to become certified car seat technicians at a child safety seat check sponsored by Floyd County police. As part of their training, the nine individuals had to check car seats as they came through to make sure they were properly installed, facing the right way and not expired.
“We also educate you, we teach you how to install the car seat properly and we teach you how to install your child in the car seat properly,” Mitchell said.
The event, sponsored by the Floyd County Police Department, featured three of their officers completing the training. There were also three Rome city police officers, Ringgold, Carrollton police officers and Crystal Williams, a civilian from Dalton who heard about the class and drove down for the four-day course.
The course was 32 hours of classroom time and the trainees will be certified technicians after Friday’s event, Mitchell said.
“The more technicians we are able to get out there the more we can help people,” he said.
When a car drove up, a team of three would greet the driver and passengers and go through a checklist on how to properly install a car seat. Officers would then make civilians install the seat themselves. This way they can instruct a babysitter or a family member how to install a car seat, Mitchell said.
Williams talked to Susie Deese, a passerby who saw the event sign and stopped by, about loose items in her car that could turn into projectiles if her vehicle got into a wreck. Things like Deese’s cellphone would fly as fast as the car is going if it is loose in the cab, Williams said.
“Some things I haven’t even thought about,” Deese said after the demonstration.
Sgt. Chris Fincher with Floyd County police said this child safety seat check will be the first of several the department hosts, however the first step was to certify car seat technicians. Fincher and the other officers handed each participant of the check a large, stuffed teddy bear which doubled as an example of where parents should put the chest clip on their child.
“You want it up here on their chest, not on the abdomen, because that is where most of the internal injuries will occur,” he said.