Lake Stevens Police Officer David Carter, 41, received a telephone call from a concerned mother, and part-time educator, regarding the improper use of child safety restraint seats by a local after-school daycare facility.
Officer Carter, one of two School Resource Officers for the Lake Stevens Police Department, considered the wellbeing of the children involved as well as how to best address the caller's concerns.
Officer Carter broadened the scope of his response, and decided to implement a strategy of education rather than a traditional approach of issuing citations for noncompliance. After researching the number and type of daycare facilities within Lake Stevens, his response became clear. Rather than speak with just the focus of the caller's concerns, why not speak with all of the larger daycare facilities within the City.
Officer Carter contacted Jennye Cooper of the Lake Stevens Fire Department, who is a public educator and child safety seat technician, and solicited her help with presenting the instruction.
Officer Carter compiled a list of daycare facilities and their owners as well as their contact information and what type of vehicle they use for transport. Officer Carter gathered literature produced by Shawneri Guzman of Providence Medical Center/'Safe Kids Snohomish County' and provided the posters, flyers, and cards to each of the daycare facilities.
On January 27, Officer Carter and Jennye Cooper traveled to each facility and met the respective owners/managers. They were successful in speaking with 10 of the 12 daycare providers in and around the City of Lake Stevens. Everyone they contacted was very thankful for the information and for their help clearing up their interpretation of the law with regard to child safety seat installation and utilization.
"We are very proud of Officer Carter and his accomplishments. We encourage all of our officers to use their creativity and initiative to provide our citizens permanent solutions. Officer Carter's use of discretion and imagination is in keeping with our philosophy of using public education as our primary means of enforcement," said Interim Commander Dennis Taylor.