Car seats are one of those necessary things that can be a pain to update. They’re expensive, the rules always seem to be changing and they have to be installed properly to be useful.
That means that sometimes kids don’t get the car seats they should have, as other purchases can seem more pressing.
According to WTMJ-TV, the Milwaukee Police Department has handed out 122 citations this year alone for children being improperly restrained, and over the weekend mom Andrella Jackson easily could have been the 123rd to get a ticket for the offense.
When Officer Kevin Zimmermann pulled over Jackson’s car for registration issues, he found something even more concerning inside the vehicle.
“I see three kids in the backseat, and two are very young,” Zimmermann told WTMJ. “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.”
Jackson told him she’d just bought the car and hadn’t been able to afford the registration yet, and with the cold months coming up she was still trying to find a way to pay for winter clothes and shoes for her children, let alone buy new car seats.
Zimmermann felt bad for the struggling family and decided to show mercy instead of justice.
“I’m a father myself, I have three kids,” he said. “I thought of my kids jumping around. What if a car hit them and they flew and got seriously hurt, if not killed?”
While he got called away to another scene, he took Jackson’s information and got back in touch with her afterward to give her some good news: He’d bought new car seats for her kids.
“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,” he told her.
“She kept saying thank you,” he told WTMJ, “and the kids kept saying thank you.”
Jackson praised the officer’s generosity publicly and reiterated how thankful she and her children were for his kindness and willingness to not only resolve the problem financially but come in-person to install the seats properly, as well.
“GOT PULLED OVER FOR KIDS’ NOT BEING IN A CARSEAT AND HE WENT IN BOUGHT AND ALSO INSTALLED THEM IN MY CAR,” she wrote in an Oct. 12 Facebook post. “MY GIRL’S COULDN’T STOP THANKING HIM AND IT MADE THEM SMILE….S/O 2 OFFICER #ZIMMERMANN AT DISTRICT 5.”
The Milwaukee Police Department picked up the story two days later, sharing Jackson’s post and commending the officer’s actions.
“Andrella JACKSON was recently pulled over by MPD District 5 Officer Zimmerman, and received much more than a traffic citation,” it wrote in a Facebook post. “The officer observed that the children in the car were not properly restrained and took it upon himself to purchase two car seats for her.”
“Thank you Officer Zimmerman for going the extra mile and going above and beyond your call of duty.”
Jackson was especially grateful because the officer’s gift meant she could focus on getting other necessities for her kids.
“Now, I’m able to finish getting coats,” she 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 us.”
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