Connecticut State police do a lot of wonderful work every day, but they also often find themselves in some traumatizing situations, especially if a child is involved.
On Thursday, police decided to stock up on something special on ‘Take Your Teddy to Work Day.’
Teddy bears took over the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden.
About 200 bears were donated by volunteers who are making sure each new recruit gets at least two to keep in a cruiser for children.
"Whenever somebody is involved in an accident, it's a very nerve-racking time. Sometimes when children are involved, they're exceptionally nervous. If we can give them a bear on the side of the road to keep them calm, it will help us in our investigation,” said Trooper Vincent Gogluicci.
The Connecticut Chapter of Women in E-Discovery, and local lawyers and insurance workers, collected and helped distribute the stuffed animals.
"These guys do such a tremendous job but unfortunately a lot of times the only time people interact with them is when terrible things are happening,” said Gail Gottehrer, of Women in E-Discovery.
The program was first started by The Hartford, and is appropriately known as Bear Hugs for Kids.
This year, U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets also helped collect bears in New London.
"I think it's awesome, honestly, I think it's great that the state troopers have the sort of support techniques that they have to help people that are in distress,” said Brett Losey, a Coast Guard cadet.
"We can take charge and we can just calm them down and reassure them that everything is going to be all right, take their attention away from the actual accident or emergency or whatever is going on at the time,” said Trooper Suzanna Sedenszki.
The Connecticut State Police 125th training troop recruits will graduate next week, after six months of training.
Now the 48 men and 10 women in the class will have some company in their cruisers to interact with children on their level.
"Speak to them in a gentle, calming voice, so they're much reassured at that point that things are going to be okay,” Gogluicci said.
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