by Peter Bodley
The Coon Rapids Police Department has received a state grant for a child safety seat program.
The grant from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Traffic Safety Division, comes in the form of child safety seats – not money.
According to Desiree Toninato, Coon Rapids community policing officer, up to 10 seats, both booster and infant/toddler, will be received from the state.
In addition, there are some seats left over from past grants from the state, Toninato said.
The child passenger seats will be distributed by the Coon Rapids police and fire departments to low-income Coon Rapids residents during two programs over the next month.
The first Thursday, Jan. 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. will be for booster seats and the second Thursday, Feb. 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. is for infant/toddler seats.
Each program is by appointment only. No walk-ins will be allowed.
Participants will watch a 15-minute video, attend a 10-minute presentation and take part in the installation of the child passenger seat in their vehicle.
The seat installation will be assisted by a certified child passenger safety technician.
This will be the first time that the two departments have decided to set aside specific days for the child safety seat program, Toninato said.
“This is a good way to make sure that we can distribute the car seats,” she said.
“We want them to be used while they are still new. They are only good for six years.”
But a couple of the child safety seats will be kept by the police department in case of emergencies, for example, where an officer deems that a car seat is needed as a result of circumstances encountered in responding to a call, Toninato said.
According to Toninato, the appointment will take from 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
For an appointment or more information, contact Toninato at 763-767-6488 or e-mail [email protected]
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]