“It just kinda popped in my head, ‘Well, why don’t we make teddy bears for children that need a little extra something special?'” said Eva Gray.
Eva Gray has been snipping and stitching to make the bears.
“I actually use almost all of the uniform,” she said.
The retired pants for the teddy bear bodies, the retired shirts for the teddy bear coats, the buttons for the eyes, all the way down to the little details.
“I actually have been able to incorporate the signature lines form the police officer uniforms into the bears,” Gray said.
The uniforms date back to the early 1990s, reports WWTV. Kalkaska Police Lieutenant Glenn Artress remembers when the retired uniforms in the basement used to be his every-day get-up.
“I started in 1991 and I’m sure there’s a pair of pants and a shirt down there that I wore then,” he said.
Each bear takes Eva about two-and-a-half hours, but the more she makes, the quicker she gets.
“The last four that I did I made production line style where I’d do all the heads first parts of the bodies so I didn’t have to keep changing threads,” she said.
The best part? Officers will give these bears to children involved in critical incidents, children involved in a car crash, or experiencing family trouble.
“In times of critical incidents children become very upset and sometimes they can get the view that the police might be against them and we really wanna make sure that they know the police are there to help,” Lt. Artress said.
This all started when Artress asked his officers to get creative with what they could do with the retired uniforms and officer Gray took the idea home to his wife, Eva, and she came up with the bears.