POSTED: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 5:15pm
UPDATED: Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 1:42pm
Tyler, Texas (KETK) — Texas officials are taking matters into their own hands with a new practice of smashing windows this summer.
KETK spoke with numerous law enforcement agencies in East Texas who said if smashing windows is what it takes to save lives, they will do it.
"I saw this smashing windows practice on another agency's site and it gets the message across," said Trinity Chief of Police, Steven Jones. "We put the word out every summer about leaving pets and people in the car during the hot Texas summer, but it never gets any attention. Therefore, we will be out here smashing windows."
Longview Public Information Officer also confirmed the Longview Police Department would be implementing this practice, depending on the situation.
"Depending on the situation, we will take appropriate action if a life is in danger," said Longview PIO Kristie Brian. "We will do what we have to do to save a life."
In the middle of the brutal Texas summers, pets and people are often left in locked cars without a second thought.
You may think, "I'll only be in here for a few minutes, it's not a big deal," but it may impact you more than you think.
"Depending on the situation and person, determines the amount of time it takes for heat exhaustion or heat stroke to set in, “ said former UT Health Northeast Chief of Surgery, Dr. Kenwyn G. Nelson. "So, it's imperative for people to not even flirt with the idea of leaving anyone or pets in the hot car. Some signs of heatstroke include, high body temperature and lack of sweating, nausea and vomiting, headaches, and muscle cramping and weakness. Leaving kids in a hot car is a one of the most common causes of heat-related deaths in children. It's not safe to leave any person inside a parked car in hot weather for any period of time, even if the windows are cracked or the car is in the shade."
According to the Longview Police Department, citizens also have the right to perform this action if they have significant evidence the situation is life threatening,
"If a citizen performs this act, as long as they can articulate the reasoning behind it and parties agree, there is no reason to take legal action against them," said Brian.
The action of leaving people and pets in the hot car without a way to get out happens more often than one may think.
"Each summer we usually have 5-10 calls concerning incidents like this, so it's not uncommon," said Jones.
When parked in the sun, the temperature in a car can rise 20 degrees F (more than 6.7 C) in just 10 minutes, so even when your car is parked, after checking it is vacant, keep it locked to prevent a child from getting inside.
So before you think about leaving your pet or someone inside the car, remember, your car may get a makeover, and rightfully so.
"When we go out to cars and someone inside is hot and we feel like its life threatening situation, we will smash windows to save their life, it's that simple," said Jones.