MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee police officer dipped into his own pocket to give a mother two new car seats for her kids.
Officer Kevin Zimmermann was on patrol Saturday when he spotted a car with the wrong registration, WTMJ reported. When he pulled over the car, he noticed there were kids inside.
“I see three kids in the back seat and two are very young,” Zimmermann said. “I didn’t observe any child restraints or even seat belts and I asked why the kids aren’t in car seats. She said she can’t afford them at this time.”
“With bills coming up and winter coming up, I have to get coats and boots and shoes for my kids,” Andrella Jackson said. “So it was hard for me.”
The Jacksons’ financial struggles were made more difficult needing a new car. She’s had trouble getting it properly registered because of costs.
Zimmermann said Jackson told him she just bought the car at an auction and is struggling to afford that, in addition to having proper car seats. It was something Zimmermann couldn’t bare to see.
“I’m a father myself, I have three kids,” Zimmermann said. “I thought of my kids jumping around. What if a car hit them and they flew and got seriously hurt, if not killed?”
Zimmermann decided to help her out. He didn’t cite her for the violation, but instead planned to go to a nearby Walmart to buy two new car seats.
He got called to a different emergency but was determined to make this happen. He called the woman back and got the weights of the children so he could get the proper seating. Then, he showed up to install them.
“I got these for you and your kids so your kids can be safe and you don’t have to worry about at least this part of the situation you’re in,” Zimmermann said. “She kept saying thank you and the kids kept saying thank you.”
“Now, I’m able to finish getting coats,” Jackson said. “That saved me 70 something dollars on buying coats and hats and gloves. He’s awesome. I really love him. I really appreciate everything he did for me.”
It’s an issue police see all too frequently. So far in 2019, they’ve given 122 citations for kids not being properly restrained.
A majority of those, 77, were given to parents with a child younger than 4 years old.
Statistics show, car seats can play an integral role in saving a child’s life.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a properly installed car seat lead to a 71% reduced risk for death to infants and a 45% reduced risk for toddlers.