September 08, 2017  |  03:12 pm

Deputy Patrick Casnave, a member of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Traffic Division, has been named the Region L Coordinator for the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force.

Deputy Casnave has been with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office for 14 years, starting out as an employee in the former work release facility and then moving to Criminal Patrol and then finally to the Traffic Division. He also served on the Street Crimes Unit and with the SWAT team. He has been a member of the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force since 2013.

Deputy Casnave began serving on the task force after his first son was born. He now has three young sons, all under the age of four and all still in child safety seats.

“They are why I got into it in the first place. When my wife was pregnant with our first son I realized I had no idea how to use a car seat or even what car seat to use,” he said.

Deputy Casnave attended a week-long course and learned how to properly install a variety of child safety seats, becoming a nationally certified child safety seat technician.

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office currently has four certified technicians in the agency with seven more set to take the course this month.

Once they pass the course, an individual is certified to install five different types of child safety seats. In order to keep up their certification, they must attend regular continuing education classes to keep up-to-date on new laws and new safety seat construction.

As Region L Coordinator, Deputy Casnave oversees safety seat installation events, seat donations and giveaways, informational fairs and the distribution of informational pamphlets on child safety seats for the four parish region of St. Tammany, Washington, Tangipahoa and St. Helena parishes.

“This is a way I can give back to the community,” Deputy Casnave said. “When I see a parent who sees their child’s seat is now properly installed and realizes it wasn’t before and they smile, I feel like I did something good, to help that parent.”

“We are really proud of Patrick (Deputy Casnave). This is something that is near and dear to him because he has young children and he understands the importance of children being properly restrain when riding in a vehicle. He is very passionate about this project, and the state has recognized that by appointing him to this position,” Captain Bret Ibert said.

“Without the proper use of a seat the likelihood of a child surviving a crash is greatly decreased, and that is why I try to offer as many opportunities as possible for parents to come and have their seat installed by a nationally certified and trained technician,” Deputy Casnave said.

A safety seat installation event is held in our region at least every other month. St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office serves as a “by appointment fitting station.” To have your child’s seat installed by a certified and trained technician, call 985-288-1014 or email patrickcasnave@stpso.com.