Photo/Story Gallery 2006
FHP Teams Up with TV Star & 21st Century to Promote Child Safety
Lucky members of the Florida Highway Patrol met the most famous highway patrolman of all time when actor Erik Estrada, better known as California Highway Patrol Officer Frank Poncharella of the popular 80’s TV show CHiPs, served as spokesperson/activist for a series of Child Safety Seat Checks recently held in Florida. FHP, Erik Estrada, and 21st Century Insurance teamed up to host three statewide events focused on child passenger safety to promote the proper installation and use of child safety seats across the state.
After several months of planning the events, the partnership kicked into high gear with the first of the three Child Safety Seat Checks held on Sunday, June 11th at the Florida Mall in Orlando. The event, which was a huge success, was quickly followed by another one in Coral Springs, which proved equally successful. The last of the three events was held at the Children’s Museum in Miami. Once again, the event was a big hit!
Pictured right, Sgt. Jorge Delahoz, Sgt. Jim Montes, Erik Estrada, & Trooper Larry Coggins pause for a picture during the Child Safety Seat Check event in Orlando.
Orlando – Under the capable direction of Public Affairs Officers Trooper Kim Miller, Trooper Larry Coggins, and Sgt. Jorge Delahoz and Occupant Protection Specialists Trooper Wanda Diaz and Trooper Reggie Edwards, Troops C, D & K did a phenomenal job co-hosting the event with 21st Century Insurance staff and spokesperson/actor Erik Estrada, who is a child safety advocate supporting the cause coast to coast.
Pictured left, Trooper Reggie Edwards installs a car seat for a family attending the event in Orlando and right, Actor and Child Safety Advocate Erik Estrada signs an autograph for a fan.
At the first of the CPS events, held in Orlando, FHP’s Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians from Troops C & D and other local agencies worked hard to ensure that the parents who arrived had their children’s child seats inspected for proper installation, while the troop motor squads and Auxiliary directed the traffic flow and provided support.
In all, over 120 child seats were inspected and 67 new child safety seats (generously donated by the insurance company) were distributed to families in need. Erik Estrada, a parent of a six-year old, signed hundreds of autographs and shared his personal views on the necessity of safe driving and child seat safety with the crowd and local media.
Coral Springs – CPS Check #2, held at the Coral Square Mall in Coral Springs on Saturday, June 17th, was another huge success. Once again, 21st Century set up the event, providing support staff and all equipment and supplies, including hundreds of child safety seats, while FHP and five different local agencies worked together to inspect and install child seats for Florida families.
Again, spokesperson/activist Erik Estrada arrived to talk to the Media and fans about the importance of keeping children safe in the car, stressing the importance of proper installation and use of child safety seats to parents who attended the event, while posing for photographs and signing autographs.
At least an hour before the 10:00 AM start of the event, parents and children sat waiting in cars to get child seats inspected. In all, eleven CPS technicians inspected 94 seats, distributed 83 new seats, and removed 27 defective seats that had to be destroyed because they were unsafe for use. One of the seats destroyed was 21 years old – now that’s an old child seat.
Thanks to Occupant Protection Specialists Trooper Conya Bassett (Troop L) and Trooper Lucy Papp (Troop F) and the support of Troop L’s new Public Affairs Officer Sgt. Mark Wysocky, as well as several local agencies, the event gained a lot of Media attention, drew a huge crowd, and was very successful!
Pictured left, Troopers Mike Valdez and Mike Brown with actor Erik Estrada from TV show CHiPs at Miami child seat event July 15, 2006.
Under the leadership of Troop E’s Public Affairs Officer Lt. Pat Santangelo and Occupant Protection Specialist Trooper Mary Jackson, along with twenty CPS technicians from FHP and other agencies, and members of the FHPA and motor squad who provided traffic control, the event was very successful and the public well served!
Thanks to our partners in child safety – 21st Century Insurance & Erik Estrada. A great big THANK YOU for all who participated in these CPS events. You are greatly appreciated for your hard work and dedication!!!