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Police Criticized for Handling of Child Accidentally Locked in Car

Richland child locked in car but care provider was present (Richland police)
Richland child locked in car but care provider was present (Richland police)

Richland police were acting on the side of caution when it came to a small child who was accidentally locked inside a parked vehicle, but some are saying the situation was not handled well.

The situation began August 29th when a child care provider accidentally locked a child she was watching inside her car in a parking lot. Authorities say the child was inside for about 10-15 minutes, before police broke the safety glass farthest away and unlocked the vehicle.

But what has people irritated was that police reportedly referred the case to DSHS and CPS for evaluation. Many people who commented are blistering officials for what they call overkill. They say it’s obvious the woman accidentally left her keys on the seat and when the door closed before she could get the child out, she could not enter.

They say it was not necessary to refer it to DSHS and CPS when it was obvious it was an accidental lockage. The woman was with the car the entire time, and called police to report the issue. She also notified the mother of everything that had happened.

However, police all too often deal with these kind of incidents, and you can never be too careful.  It appears people are upset mainly because it was referred to DSHS and CPS when it wasn’t necessary. No charges or other issues resulted from the incident. Richland police posted this message on their Facebook page Thursday:

Thanks for your concerns regarding the infant that was inadvertently locked in the car yesterday. Our protocol is to report the facts regarding this case and that was the intent of the responding officer. Ultimately the safety of the child is of utmost concern and the caregiver did the right thing to ask for assistance as soon as possible. I apologize for any confusion and I will personally look into the situation.

No charges were filed in this instance and the child was unharmed. – Chief Chris Skinner

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