Toccoa Police Receive Grant, Donation

The Toccoa Police Department receives money to help both its officers and the community.

First, the Police Department was awarded a 2014 Car Seat Mini-Grant this week by the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Injury Prevention Program.

The grant is funded by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and it provides car seats to financially eligible families in Stephens County.

Toccoa Police Chief Tim Jarrell said this is a very beneficial program.

“Occupant safety is a very important thing to the police department,” said Jarrell.  “With this grant, we are able to put children in child seats that may have a difficult time with parents not being able to afford the child seat or they do not know the history of the child seat, whether it has been in an accident or how old the child seat is.  This allows us to give the parent or caregiver a child safety seat that they can feel confident in using.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car seats reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent among infants and by 54 percent among children ages 1 to 4 years in passenger cars.

The Toccoa Police Department offers car seat inspections and provides education on properly installing and using a car seat to all families.

Officer Dave Shanks said that the department will work with families to determine whether a family is eligible for one of the car seats provided through this grant.

“We will go ahead and check what they have,” said Shanks.  “We will get them in touch with the Department of Health.  They have to be some type of assistance (to get the seat).  The Department of Health will give them the voucher (for the seat).”

Shanks said there is then a class the person will have to take to get the seat.

For more information on the Toccoa-Stephens County car seat program, call Officer Shanks at 706-282-3244.

Rick Hack (L) of the Marine Corps League presents donation to Toccoa Police Chief Tim Jarrell

Rick Hack (L) of the Marine Corps League presents donation to Toccoa Police Chief Tim Jarrell

Meanwhile, the Toccoa Police Department also received a donation this week from the Local Detachment of the Marine Corps League to help provide body armor for one of the police department’s officers.

Chief Jarrell said the department appreciates the support from the community.

“We spend taxpayers’ money wisely in the various areas that we have to stretch the money out and receiving donations like this really help out when we are not able to purchase that much needed equipment,” said Jarrell.

Local Marine Corps League Detachment Commandant Rick Hack said that the organization is glad it could be of help.

“Basically, we want to be able to assist the police department in the safety of their officers,” said Hack.  “We found out that one of their officers was in need of some body armor.  The things we can do to help the community help us and it keeps the officer safe.  That was our bottom line.”

The donation from the Marine Corps League totaled $500.