, Gloucester, MA

March 1, 2013

Essex Police/Fire: Child seat causes problems for mom

By Andrea Holbrook
Staff Writer

---- — ESSEX — As many parents know, installing baby or child safety seats in the car can be fraught with peril.

Case in point: The Essex Police Department has an officer who trained for two weeks to be able to check if child car seats are up to current standards and install all types of the seats properly, Chief Peter G. Silva said.

Unfortunately for a Newburyport mom, the department’s expert, Patrolman Justin Zwicker, had Wednesday off.

The woman, who was traveling to Hamilton, had noticed both her child and the safety seat moving a lot as she drove, so she stopped in at the police station on Martin Street at 11:48 a.m. for some help. Because Zwicker was out, another officer, the father of a toddler, was called in hopes he could rectify the problem, but Silva said the officer could not secure the seat and believed it was unsafe for travel.

A phone call and short time later, the Hamilton Police Department’s expert arrived at the station and quickly fixed the seat. Mom and child were soon on their way.

The Massachusetts Child Passenger Safety Law requires children who are under 8 years of age or less than 57 inches in height to ride in a child safety seat or booster seat appropriate to their size based on the manufacture’s recommendations.

Any Essex resident who would like a child safety seat checked out or needs help installing it, can call the police station at 978-768-6628 to make an appointment with Zwicker.

Later Wednesday, at 2:43 p.m., Hamilton Police reported checking the plate of a car being driven there and headed to Essex. The plate came back to an Essex resident who had reported his car stolen. By the time the information was discovered, police no longer had the car in sight and were not able to locate it.

Police checked on the well-being of a Story Street resident at 6:22 p.m. Wednesday. The resident had needed assistance earlier in the day.

Andrea Holbrook may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3456, or aholbrook@gloucestertimes.