A Milwaukee police officer went into his own pocket to give a mother two new car seats for her children when he saw their problems on Saturday, Oct. 12.
Officer Kevin Zimmermann was on patrol Saturday when he spotted a car with the wrong registration. When he approached the car, he saw an even bigger problem.
“There were three kids in the back, two of them were very young,” Zimmermann told WITI. “Didn’t notice any car seats or any restraints. Clearly, they weren’t wearing seat belts because they’re jumping around back there waving at me.”
Officer Zimmermann said the mother, Andrella Jackson, was having financial struggles and needing a new car made it more difficult. She said she didn’t have time to register the car she bought from an auction and didn’t have a lot of money.
“With bills coming up and winter coming up, I have to get coats and boots and shoes for my kids. So it was hard for me,” Jackson said.
Officer Zimmermann has three children of his own. Seeing Jackson’s situation it was something he couldn’t bear to see.
“I’m a father myself, I have three kids. I thought of my kids jumping around. What if a car hit them and they flew and got seriously hurt, if not killed?” Zimmermann said to WTMJ.
Zimmermann didn’t cite her for the violation, instead, he planned to go to a nearby Walmart to buy two new car seats.
“Hey, I want to do something for you and your kids. I just need their weights,” Zimmermann said to Jackson.
A few hours later, to Jackson’s surprise, Zimmermann found himself outside her home with two new car seats.
“She just kept saying, ‘What?!’ She looked shocked,” Zimmermann told WITI.
“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. She kept saying thank you and the kids kept saying thank you,” Zimmermann said.
“Now, I’m able to finish getting coats. 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 me,” Jackson told WTMJ.
The badge on Zimmermann’s chest tells us that he is a police officer, but he is also a protective father.
“I wanted to do whatever I could to make sure that the kids were safe,” Zimmermann said to WITI.
So far in 2019, MPD has given 122 total citations for children not being properly restrained. Seventy-seven of them to be exact, were given to parents with a child under 4 years of age, according to WTMJ.
In order to help families in need of car seats but cannot afford one because of the price, Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin and the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin work in conjunction to offer free or low-cost car seats.
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin 414-607-5280 (Central Scheduling)
Children’s hospital provides low-cost car seats for $25 but appointments are required. They are currently booked through the end of October.