The Child Protective Investigation Unit (CPI) with the Pasco Sheriff's Office aims to protect children, but often encounter danger themselves.
Body camera video from late Thursday shows a deputy putting two twin toddlers, wearing only diapers, in the back seat of a child protective investigators car.
They had to use wet car seats that were left out in the yard.
“I want to see if we can cover them up. You want to ask her if we can go in and get a towel,” a deputy is heard asking.
CPI had come to the home in Lachoochee, near Dade City to check on the two kids.
But deputies said the woman at the home, Jocelyn Dalton, wouldn’t let that happen.
“She comes out of the house, starts beating on the car, cursing at her. To the point she feels threatened and has to roll up her windows,” the investigator is heard saying on the body camera video.
While the investigator stayed inside her car for safety and called deputies, authorities said Dalton walked down the long dirt driveway and locked the gate shut.
“She runs out there and locks the gate and traps her inside,” a deputy said.
CPI Assistant Director Kristine Fletcher said the investigators who work for the sheriff’s office are unarmed civilians who often face dangerous situations.
“We are dealing with a population that’s often times unpredictable. They have very severe untreated mental health, very severe substance abuse addictions and often times domestic violence situations that are out of control,” said Fletcher.
Once they get abuse allegations from the Florida Abuse Hotline, CPI researches to see what they could be facing.
But there is always the chance for trouble.
In this case, Dalton told deputies she reacted the way she did because she was scared when the car drove up to her house.
“Unfortunately we just aren’t buying her story that she was scared. I think she was coming here to intimidate her. Now it backfired on her,” a deputy is heard saying on the video.
Dalton is charged with false imprisonment.
The CPI unit has the highest turnover rate at the Pasco Sheriff’s office.
Officials said this is due to the stress that comes with the job.