Don't leave your child in a hot car, officials warn

MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) - The temperatures were in the 90's when 3-month old Norman Collins was found dead in a hot car. It happened last month outside a Clarksdale, Mississippi church.

During a news conference Wednesday in Memphis, Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich, the Child Advocacy Center, and Memphis police teamed up to warn people about the danger of leaving a child in a hot car.

"Parents and care givers must be vigilant and methodical when it comes to the safety of children in their care," said Vanessa Roberts of the Child Advocacy Center.

Organizers of the news conference said the event was a pro-active attempt to warn the public that people can go to jail for leaving a child in a hot car.

"Ask yourself, ask your co-workers, ask your sister in law, 'Are the kids out of the car?'" prosecutor Amy Weirich said.

Police say patrols are being stepped up to arrest people who don't heed the warning.

"The officers in the field will be paying attention when they are cruising apartment complexes and shopping centers for children being left in the car," said Deputy Chief Dave Martello of the Memphis Police Department.

And police are not just looking for hot cars - you can also get into trouble for leave your child in a car with the air-condition running too.

"It depends on a case by case basis, but you certainly don't want to leave children in a car with the key running," Weirich said.

"We encourage everybody to watch what is going on and call us if you see something where the child is left alone," Martello added.

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