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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Unattended Children-A Safety and Security Hazard

Every day children are let unattended in or around vehicles, a danger most people greatly underestimate. Many states do not have laws that define a specific age when a child may be left alone at home. However, most do have laws that prohibit leaving a child unattended in a vehicle for any length of time. Security officers often come across children left alone in cars. Recently Officer Frank Salvaggio of Region 3 was involved in such a situation. Officer Salvaggio found an infant and a toddler left alone in a car and contacted 911. This type of situation is taken seriously and 3 police cars arrived. As a result both parents were ticketed by the police.

If children are left inside cars during hot weather, it can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke leading to permanent disability or death in a matter of minutes. This is a punishable offense under most state laws. In Texas it is considered a Class C misdemeanor if a person knowingly leaves a child younger than seven in a car and is unattended by anyone 14 years or older.  Leaving children unattended in a car is also a form of neglectful supervision in Texas.

Exact charges for the parents that chose to leave their children in the car in this case are not known at this time. Officer Salvaggio’s actions could very well have saved the children’s lives. This was a great job by Officer Salvaggio, who has only been employed by Yale Enforcement Services for little over a month.

Russell Rucker,
Regional Manager-Region 3

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