The Kentucky State Police is promoting its “Trooper Teddy Bear” for Valentine’s this month.
The agency is selling the teddy bears for $14.99 through Feb. 14, and proceeds from the sale will benefit the Trooper Teddy Project, which provides teddy bears to children who have undergone a traumatic event, like a car crash, exposure to drugs or domestic abuse cases.
“When KSP is called to a scene, it’s usually a tragic and difficult situation,” KSP spokesman Sergeant Josh Lawson said. “Unfortunately, there are many incidents where children are involved and witness traumatic things. To minimize the situation and help them cope, we provide children with a teddy bear to calm them down during times of crisis.”
Lawson 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,” adds Lawson. “These children are often innocent victims of parents who may have violated the law, or in the middle of a domestic disturbance or worse.”
Lawson says the ‘Trooper Teddy’ Project recently celebrated its 30-year anniversary and exists through generous contributions. The Trooper Teddy Bear Project came to life in December of 1989 after Kentucky First Lady Martha Wilkinson hosted a Gala fundraiser at Red Mile Racecourse earlier that summer. The black tie event raised the needed funds to purchase 2,000 Trooper Teddy Bears. The first allotment of bears included a personal note on each stuffed animal from First Lady Wilkerson.
“Like many agencies, KSP didn’t have the funds in our budget to purchase the bears, but the need remained,” notes Lawson. “The program is completely funded through donations and the sale of bears, with our ‘Valentine’s sale being one of two significant fundraising events each year.”
For those interested in purchasing a bear or making a tax deductible contribution to the project, citizens can access the KSP website at, kentuckystatepolice.org/trooper-teddy/.
The teddy bears are also available at KSP Post 9 in Pikeville or other KSP posts.