Message From Police Officer David Sussman On Leaving A Child In A Car

dave_sussman_tlsThe following was submitted to TLS by Lakewood Police Officer David Sussman: Shalom. Days of hot weather are upon us and will be sticking around for a few months so I wanted to just give everyone a reminder of how important it is to make sure you don’t leave any of your young children in the car…even for a minute.

I’ve been told a million times by people that they were only going to run into a store for “a minute” and they ended up being in there 15 minutes or longer. Usually this conversation occurs after they’ve gotten a parking ticket but, unfortunately, it could be much worse.

A car’s interior heats up way beyond the exterior temperature and little bodies are not made to handle it. The health and safety of your child (or your friend’s child) should be all the motivation you need to stay aware of who you have in the car with you but understand that you run the risk of having an arrest added to your Tsuris when you leave your child in your car.

Take care of your most precious gifts and have a safe summer. TLS.

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  1. I obviously do not recommend leaving children in a sealed car for extended periods of time in specific weather conditions, but I fail to understand what is criminal about this and what business the government police officers have looking into parked vehicles and arresting loving parents.

  2. But you can’t answer the question!
    It is not iligal in the state of NJ to leave children in a car.
    The parents should decide what’s safest for their children. Not a police officer who is uneducated of the laws of the state.

  3. Leaving a child unattended in a hot car is child endangerment. If the child becomes ill, it could be a charge of child abuse. If the child dies from heat prostration, it could be involuntary manslaughter. Usually, it is a concerned citizen that calls the police. Otherwise, leaving a child or a pet in a car during the summer heat is pure stupidity.

  4. Please, #4 wants to know what the crime is so when they leave their child in the car they know why they’re getting in trouble. They can line up a lawyer ahead of time. They have the right to know. Some people go out for walks and leave their babies sleeping in the house. They can’t see anything wrong with that either. Parenting 101 needs to be taught to these children having children. They lack common sense and parenting skills.

  5. Of course it’s criminal! Leaving a child in a hot car is putting them in danger, and possibly risks their life. How is this even a question?

    Can someone please post the criminal codes etc that would apply here?

  6. A child left in a car evev in winter is deadly as the windows act as a magnifier and heat up the interior like an oven.

    I once saw a baby left alone in a car parked in front of a hosiery store. I went into the store and asked whos car was out front. I told the lady “would you leave your diamond in the car for all to see”. She looked at me like I was crazy. I then told her if she continues to leave her child in the car, that I was going to call police. Only then did she realize I was serious.

    WAKR UP. It’s not just about heat. It’s the times we live in and the area we live in. There are enough crazy lunatics that will take a child cvsh.

    Wake up. Kids should not be left unattended in shopping malls, cars, even development playgrounds.

  7. As a mandated reporter myself, I wouldn’t hesitate to call the police upon finding a child suffering from obvious neglect by being left in a car.

    Even if you are standing right next to your car, leave the car running with the A/C on. On very hot days, open windows are not enough.

  8. Police officers not only are there to write tickets and find low life criminals..but they are here to Protect Life & Property. If you don’t feel your children are a good enough reason for the officers..go ahead, leave them in the car..then they will follow up with you after the tragedy occurs

  9. “Any one can be a parent, but not every one is a good parent”

    For the love of Pete, people wake up- its all about common sense. A gift from G-d is not to be wasted because we are too lazy for a few moments while we run to complete a task. Leaving a little one in a vehicle is just not acceptable behavior . Unfortunately we in Lakewood know the results of these lapses in good judgment.

    Thank you Officer Dave for the reminder ,just ashamed that this is still a common practice in town. I pray for those who refuse to learn from past tragedies. It’s all part of being a responsible parent

  10. Go to a Bonei Olam event and see all the heartbroken couples who haven’t yet been blessed with children, then go home and do everything in your power to love; parent; nurture; and, protect all the precious blessings you’re fortunate to have.

  11. what crime?!?
    Murder! or Attempted Murder! Need more be said?! Lock this guy up & throw away the key! And then ask me your silly quetions!!!!!!!!

  12. Thanks for the great article.

    On three separate occasions in lakewood, i have come upon children left alone in the car, and I called 911 in all three instances. If the children did not look alert and active, I would have smashed a window to release the child from the danger.

    To all those who say there is no law on the books about leaving a child in the car, that is the silliest argument ever. There is no law on the books that says ‘do not feed your child bleach’. It all falls under child endangerment laws. Anything you do to your child that puts them in danger is a crime.

  13. ive gone back and forth in my mind who is my favorite officer, Sussman or (moderated),I have to go with Sussman, (moderated) gave me a ticket and kept adjusting her bullet proof vest all you heard was the sound of velcro , officer Sussman at least smiled when he gave me one

  14. My point is that on a mild day or the winter most normal people do not believe there is anything wrong with leaving a child in the car. Since there is no specific law in NJ regarding children in cars, only when there is clear danger ie a hot day, do you have an obligation to contact the authorities and they in turn may then arrest you for child endangerment.

  15. #24- don’t you think leaving a child without supervision in a public place is putting them in danger?? Would you leave your money or other valuables out in plain site to be stolen? A child is more precious. It’s child endangerment

  16. leaving a child in a car is child negect and just proves some people should not be parents if they canot understand that, I would not hesitate to call the police to protect the life of a child left in a car alone

  17. When Dinay Malchusa does not contradict the Torah, it is mandated by the Torah.

    But in any case the Torah mandates: U’Shmartem m’oed Es Nafshosaichem.

  18. hey law! you obviously hang around with alot of stupid people, as your quote says, most normal people would leave their kids in a car on a mild day? Well you know, people like you make the real normal people like me extremely nauseous. The same way, one wouldn’t logically leave anything of value in their car unattended, be it money, jewels or a gps, it is appaling me to know people are comfortable to leave their gems, their kids. People you are so messed up! What is wrong with you not seeing the problem???

  19. I accidentally locked my keys in my car as I was leaving the front to get my baby from the back seat. I called Chaveirim and told the dispatcher that if someone could not come in 3 min I would smash the window (despite it being a 3 week old car!) By the time I got my tire jack out of the trunk they were there. They opened the car in seconds! Friends realize the true danger of even 5 min in a stifling car. Although many times (or most) it is parents that forgot that they had a child in the car. It is hard to advocate prosecuting a grieving parent who will never recover from the guilt and anguish they self imposed! Officer Sussman thank you (even though I’m still paying insurance premiums from that ticket lol!!)

  20. To all of those bothering to argue with “Law” (myself included), I would like to share a very wise piece of advice – “Never argue with a fool; he will bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”

  21. On a cold day a child is safer in a locked car than out in the open like on the front lawn. Same goes for diamonds, a wallet or any valuables.
    Your all hysterical and OCD, influenced by the nanny state mentality. Stay out of my business.

  22. You are pretty amazing, you accidentally lock your keys in the car yet you managed to get your tire jack (I assume you mean the tire iron) out of a locked trunk?

  23. Dear #33, Remind us to lock you in your car on a frigid winter day so we can see how long you last. Haven’t you ever heard of hypothermia?
    The entire LPD deserves a pay raise for having to deal with people like you.

  24. Hashem gave you a precious gift(a child) what gives you the right to destroy it?? Those who say they can do what they want with their child do not obey t commandments. THOU SHALT NOT KILL

  25. in case some of the knuckleheads need a real explanation:

    Neglect: is frequently defined as the failure of a parent or other person with responsibility for the child to provide needed food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision such that the child’s health, safety, and well-being are threatened with harm.

    Child abuse and neglect are defined by Federal and State laws. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. The CAPTA definition of “child abuse and neglect,” at a minimum, refers to: Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm”.

    N.J. REV. STAT. § 9:6-1 (2010). Abuse, abandonment, cruelty and neglect of child; what constitutes: Any parent, guardian or person having the care, custody or control of any child, who shall abuse, abandon, be cruel to or neglectful of such child, or any person who shall abuse, be cruel to or neglectful of any child shall be deemed to be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

    N.J. REV. STAT. § 9:6-8.9 (2010). “Abused child” defined For purposes of this act: a. Inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon such child physical injury by other than accidental means which causes or creates a substantial risk of death, or serious or protracted disfigurement, or protracted impairment of physical or emotional health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ;

    b. Creates or allows to be created a substantial or ongoing risk of physical injury to such child by other than accidental means which would be likely to cause death or serious or protracted disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ; or

    d. Or a child whose physical, mental, or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as the result of the failure of his parent or guardian, or such other person having his custody and control, to exercise a minimum degree of care (1) in supplying the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, education,

  26. I cannot believe some of the statements by those posting here ,anyone who thinks leaving a child unattended by an adult in a car is OK really needs help I hope they are not parents

  27. Why do good parents leave kids in cars? Is it that they are so busy ? Are they driving on auto pilot ? Why wasnt it a problem years ago?
    I think no parents want to hurt their child. Is it possible the way the babies are put in the back seat with the hood of the infant seat covering the baby . Lets not point fingers . Lets try to work on this big problem. We need some kind of a signal or reminder that the baby is in back. Maybe the car seat should not be directly behind the driver, putting your pocketbook or other item you need near the baby. What ever works . The babysitter system of calling the parent if child does not show up. We need common sense and a clear head to concentrate on our most precious possesion our children.
    Thank you officer .

  28. Att. Law- you obviously don’t have children, why else would you need a written law to explain why you shouldn’t leave them in a hot car? How about the fact that it takes approximately a half hour for a baby to die in that heat? I guess that reason isn’t enough for a fool like you.
    It’s a good thing you didn’t use your name on here- because you’re pure DYFS material.

  29. I can’t believe they even need to post this! What idiot would ever, ever leave their child alone, let it be at home, car, in the winter, fall, spring, summer.

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