FRANKFORT, Ky. (December 2, 2016) - When KSP troopers encounter young children, it is often part of a traumatic situation such as a car crash, drug or domestic abuse cases which sometimes result in the arrest of the parent. KSP hopes their ‘Trooper Teddy’ bears will serve as a tool to calm innocent children they find in these circumstances.
"When KSP is called to a scene, it's not always a pleasant situation," said KSP spokesman Lieutenant Michael Webb. "Unfortunately, there are many incidents where children are involved and witness scary things. To minimize the situation, we hope to provide children with a teddy bear to calm them down during these times."
Webb says the 'Trooper Teddy' program has been around for some time but ran out of funding in recent years.
"Like many agencies we didn’t have the funds in our budget to purchase the bears but kept seeing a need for them," notes Webb. "Our Operations Division was able to utilize asset forfeiture funds from seized assets in drug investigations to fund the purchase of the bears."
The Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture encompasses the seizure and forfeiture of assets that represent the proceeds of, or were used to facilitate federal crimes. The funds are restricted and can be used for qualifying expenditures toward enhancing public safety and security.
KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders said the program is designed to develop trust between officers and children.
"As a law enforcement officer, it tugs at your heart strings to arrive at a scene and see a child visibly upset and shaken," says Sanders. "These children are often innocent victims of parents who may have violated the law, or in the middle of a domestic disturbance or worse. This small gesture provides comfort and builds trust between the officer and the child."