January 12, 2012 in City, News

1,600 Beanie Babies donated to Spokane police

By The Spokesman-Review
Colin Mulvany photo

Spokane police patrol officer Ryan Snider holds two of the 1,600 Beanie Babies stuffed animals donated to the department. Officers will be give the toys as comfort to children at crimes and accident scenes.
(Full-size photo)

Thanks to a donor, Spokane police officers have new toys to use to comfort children in traumatic situations.

A young woman who wishes to remain anonymous recently gave the Spokane Police Department 1,600 Beanie Babies in near perfect condition.

“Apparently she got into her 20s and decided she didn’t need them anymore,” said Officer Ryan Snider.

All patrol cars will have a few of the miniature stuffed animals, which were once a collector’s craze.

Wal-Mart donated sandwich bags to store them, Snider said.

Patrol officers have long had older stuffed animals to give to the children they encounter in all types of calls, from car crashes to domestic violence reports and drug raids.

“It takes their minds off the situation they might be in,” Snider said.

Adam Shipman, director of advocacy and education for Lutheran Community Services, said often times children involved in police calls have had negative perceptions of police because of family experiences.

“Being able to provide that stuffed animal can be a link in showing the children that police really are the good guys,” Shipman said.

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