Yesterday, the Colorado State Patrol learned that a phone number formerly associated with a statewide child-passenger-safety (CPS) initiative--and formerly promoted by multiple state and local agencies--had been purchased by an adult phone service. Although the Colorado State Patrol and many of its partners no longer use or promote the phone number as a valid CPS resource, several non-CSP Web sites and outdated educational materials still contained the now-defunct phone number. Instead of leading concerned parents to CPS resources, the phone number would have directed them to professionally inappropriate content.
Upon learning of the situation, the Colorado State Patrol immediately contacted its partner agencies and the webmasters of sites containing the incorrect phone number. Beginning last night, many of our partners agencies took immediate steps to remove the phone number from their Web sites and educational materials. Archived appearances on the internet, while difficult to remove in some cases, will be dealt with accordingly.
For historical perspective: the Colorado State Patrol began utilizing the phone number in 2002, working with the Colorado Department of Transportation, which funded and administered the project. Designed to increase awareness of CPS resources in rural areas, the phone number allowed Colorado residents to find the nearest inspection station or troop office in their areas. Due to increasing technical difficulties that negatively affected customer service beginning in 2008, the Colorado State Patrol formally agreed to stop using the phone number as a CPS resource in late 2010. The state's contract with the phone vendor expired, and the number has been utilized by other, unrelated customers in recent years.
"In our efforts to reach out to all communities in Colorado, our primary goal is to provide safety resources and information that will have a positive impact and protect our children," said Colonel Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. "We are frustrated that a once valuable public resource was made to look so unsavory."
"Nevertheless, I think this incident provides a significant opportunity," Hernandez said. "I challenge our media partners to help us return the focus to child passenger safety by showcasing the outstanding work that CPS technicians perform across the state."
Contact your local troop office to schedule an interview with a Trooper, and visit carseatscolorado.com for additional resources.