Being a police officer is an intense job and having the right tools can be important in every situation. That’s why Cynthia Barreira and her 10-year-old daughter brought the Oak Ridge Police Department dozens of stuffed animals for officers to pass out to children during stressful events.
“A lot of situations in which we would use them is like car accidents or domestic incidents where the child had been involved in something traumatic, and typically the kids are shook up and crying. And the officer can relate with the kid using a stuffed animal or a toy. [It] can momentarily pull the kid out of that situation and put their focus on a toy versus what they just went through,” said Sgt. Ray Steakly.
Officers will keep the stuffed animals in their cruisers to hand out in times of need.