Sheriffs Department part of enhanced pilot parental notification program for traffic stops

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The Livingston County Sheriffs Department is part of a pilot program that notifies parents via text or email when their children are involved in a traffic stop.

STOPPED (Sheriffs Telling Our Parents and Promoting Educated Drivers) is a voluntary program for parents who would like to be notified when their child is involved in a traffic stop by a sheriff’s deputy. The State Farm-funded program has been around for several years, with notification completed by regular mail. According to Blaine Koops, executive director of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association, “the enhanced system will fully automate the process.”

“In the event a deputy makes a traffic stop with a young driver, the deputy locates the STOPPED sticker, puts the corresponding number into an internet based program and hits the send button,” Koops said. “The deputy then tells the driver that their parent will receive either a text message or e-mail regarding the traffic stop. But, the deputy informs the young driver that they have 48 hours to discuss the event with their parents before the parent receives the message.

This system allows for not only notification but accountability between the young driver student and parents.

State Farm presented a check to the Michigan Sheriffs Association in the amount of $25,896 to help fund the roll out of the Enhanced STOPPED. Livingston and Mason Counties have been selected to pilot the program.

“This is just the initial test run,” Koops said, “but given the outcome, this could have wide-ranging positive impact on how we relate to our young drivers and their parents”

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.