Local police dept. plans to offer free car inspections each quarter

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You can get your car inspected for free this weekend. The mechanics for the city of Charleston Police Department are coming in on their day off to inspect your car.

This is open to anyone in the Lowcountry and its happening at the CPD Fleet Operations building from 10AM to 2PM at 637 Dupont Road in West Ashley.

These inspections are part of the Charleston Illumination Project whose mission is to improve community’s relationship with their local police department. The idea for these inspections came from community listening sessions.

We talked to one of the leaders of the project Margaret Seidler. She explains how the inspections help with their goal.

“We are just thrilled. These are one of 2,000 ideas that we got last year in the Illumination Project” says Seidler.

Seidler lead multiple community listening sessions on how to strengthen relationships with police.

“One of the things people were concerned about were traffic stops for things like headlights out, break lights, those sorts of things,” Seidler points out. “Someone said, why don’t we get up stream of that and have inspections and so if there are people who perhaps even know they’ve got something that needs fixing and maybe they can’t afford it, they’ll just come by.”

This is the second time they have done this and CPD Fleet Manager Hunter Horne describes how the first one went.

“It was very touching to see our guys give up their Saturday to come here and give back to the community,” Horne describes. “We really enjoy fixing these cars.”

They have three local partners making this possible. “Our main partner is Parks Automotive and they supply us with all the parts that we need,” says Horne. “We also have two other partners this time, which is Hay Tire and Pleasant Details and Tint.”

Seidler emphasizes, they will not give you a ticket if you do have a problem.

“This is for the public, it’s safety, it’s about making sure that people recognize that the police care about their safety just as much,” says Seidler.

They are looking for more help from car organizations to keep this going.

“So that we can build this over time so that people will know that with every say quarter or so they’ll be able to come in and get some support,” Seidler says.

Seidler says this kind of partnership is unique. “I don’t know of any other place in the country where a city police department is partnering with the private sector and trying to make sure that everybody gets their vehicle inspected so that they don’t find themselves in an unfortunate traffic stop.”

The fleet operations department does not have an exact date set yet, but they plan to do these inspections each quarter.

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