KANSAS CITY, Mo.– Kansas City, Missouri police officers will soon have extra furry passengers in their patrol cars. It’s all because of the Kansas City Paralegal Association.
This year, the KCPA collected a record number of 1,200 teddy bears for “Bears on Patrol.”
The program started almost 30 years ago and supplies patrol officers with teddy bears to give to children to ease their fears when faced with trauma.
Photo courtesy KCPD and the KC Paralegal Association
“The bears are an important tool for the officers when our mere presence or words of comfort aren’t enough. They’re designed to ease any fear and offer security to young children who are caught up in upsetting incidents or situations,” said Officer Andy Hamil, the Community Interaction Officer of Central Patrol Division.
Being able to give a child a new teddy bear to cuddle also brings a level of emotional benefit to the officers.
“Being able to calm a child down with a teddy bear makes me feel good, as though I was helping them more than just trying to explain to them what was going on. Small children who are not directly involved in a situation but witnessed or was just present experience a level of stress they don’t understand. Getting a toy, like a teddy bear, helps to calm their nerves more than an adult ever could,” a KCPD officer told 41 Action News.
This year, the KCPA held a friendly competition between area law firms on who could donate the most teddy bears. A “traveling trophy” was provided to the top 3 winners:
The KCPA has been the exclusive donor to the “Bears on Patrol” program for the past 15 years.