January 13, 2012 in City

Toys given to comfort kids

Woman donates 1,600 Beanie Babies to police
By The Spokesman-Review
Colin Mulvany photoBuy this photo

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

Thanks to a donor, Spokane police officers have plenty of stuffed toys to help comfort children they encounter in traumatic situations.

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

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

All patrol cars will be stocked with 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 emergency calls, from car crashes to domestic violence reports to 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 oftentimes 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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