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Lions Club Presents Teddy Bears To PD
bears pd
Escalon Police Chief Rob Lackey, left, accepted a donation of teddy bears from Escalon Lions Club Immediate Past President Mike Powers at the Lions Club’s December meeting. Photo Contributed

During the Thursday, Dec. 2 meeting of the Escalon Lions Club, Immediate Past President Mike Powers presented Escalon Police Chief Rob Lackey with 60-plus stuffed Teddy Bears to be used in various ways by patrol officers.

The Escalon Lions “Bears that Care” program is a locally adapted program based on similar law enforcement programs where donated stuffed bears are distributed by police officers, given to children who are involved in traumatic events. Powers noted that experience has shown that the simple act of giving a distraught child a bear to hug creates a sense of comfort to that child.

“It allows him or her something to hold on to when a loved one is not able to, due a traumatic event,” said Powers.

Studies have also shown that the program also gives that loved one the opportunity to calm themselves when they know their child has something to hold on to and comfort them. The bears also foster community trust between the police officers and the persons they are interacting with in any given situation.

Lackey said the police department was grateful for the donations, as officers do keep some of the stuffed animals readily available.

The bears can also be used during non-traumatic contacts with children while officers are on patrol. Proponents of the program explain that the simple gift of a bear fosters a positive relationship with the police; officers seen in a positive, encouraging role rather than being the person who only shows up at crime scenes or disagreeable events that a child may witness or be involved in.

Along with being on hand to receive the donation of the bears, Lackey served as guest speaker at the Lions Club meeting.