Police officials in Cedar Park, Texas, decided to buy car seats for a father of three, instead of giving him a citation.
On Oct. 17, Officer Justin Gower pulled over a man for a broken light and expired registration. During the traffic stop, he noticed that a 1-year-old, 3-year-old, and 4-year old were in the car. None of the children had car seats.
“I have kids and I know how fragile they are, especially how young these kids were," Gower told KXAN News.
Gower had not met the man before, but other officers, such as Officer Cale Hawkins, had previously stopped the father of three.
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"[I] Remember hearing the story about, you know, [how] he's saving money, [how] he's living in a car, [how] he's trying to get his family down," Gower told KVUE News.
Gower called in Hawkins, who had talked to the father within the past month. The officers believed that issuing tickets was not the way to handle the dilemma.
"We just kind of stepped off to the side and said we need to kind of do the right thing and get these people some car seats," Hawkins said.
"Giving him three tickets, it wasn't going to do any good," explained Gower. "Those kids were still going to have to be driven somewhere, somehow with no car seats."
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“Money is not the issue, it’s the issue of can you help them, and so that was the easiest way we saw, the fastest path to helping them,” Hawkins told KXAN News.
The officers made the decision to pool their funds to buy three car seats for the family. Gower stayed with the man while Hawkins went to Wal-Mart to make the purchase.
"I recognized some of the management staff and told them immediately what I wanted to do," recounted Hawkins. The manager gave him a discount, which brought the cost of the three pink car seats down to about $145.
He drove the car seats back to meet the man and his daughters. Both of the officers helped place the seats properly inside the truck.
"It was nothing short of a miracle," the man told KVUE News. "It was something that was really needed. The officers have been a blessing."