Safety first

Police raising money for car seat simulator

PoliceDepartment

NAUGATUCK — Even parents with the best intentions often do not realize their car seats are not as safe as they can be.

Roughly three out of four child car seats are not installed properly, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In an effort to increase the number of car seats and booster seats that are installed properly and safely, the Naugatuck Police Department is trying to raise money for a new device that will be used to train parents how to install seats the right way. It’s called the CPS Simultator Training Seat, and it costs about $2,000. It is basically the back seat of a car on wheels that can be transported to local fairs and other events so trained police officers can demonstrate how to properly install car seats and parents can give it a try, too.

“When you are in a car, it’s hard to demonstrate,” said Chip Schofield, a Naugatuck officer who is pushing for the device. “This allows a number of people at one time to watch what we’re doing, and get a hands-on demonstration.”

Schofield worked with the device at a recertification class for his child safety seat installation instructor license. He didn’t want to burden taxpayers by requesting funding for the device in the police department’s budget, so he asked the Naugatuck police union to help.

Det. Sgt. Paul Markette stepped up on behalf of the union and is holding a fundraiser later this month to raise money for the device. He is organizing a benefit cigar dinner from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Jesse Camille’s Restaurant in Naugatuck. Tickets are $75 a person and includes cigars, food and a carving station. There will be a raffle and a cash bar.

For ticket or more information, call Markette at (203) 597-7633 or email him at pmarkette@naugatuckpd.org. As of Sunday, he said he has about 14 tickets left and has sold more than 50. No tickets will be sold at the door. All proceeds will go toward the safety seat simulator.

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