Dealing with law enforcement is stressful for anyone. Imagine being a kid again, and being forced to interact with an officer at your home, or after a car accident.
Thanks to a couple of special donations, Morton County Sheriff’s Office will now have some fun distractions for when times are tough.
MCSO Deputy Sheriff Tad Pritchett shares, “We came in here and the tables were packed full of stuffed animals and they’re wonderful.”
The Morton County Sheriff’s Office has collected about 35 blankets and 566 teddy bears to give to kids when they need them most.
Deputy Sheriff Pritchett says, “I think the last time for me was probably an accident, you know, an injury accident.”
He says it’s all about redirecting minds to something more positive, to distract them from the reality of the situation.
Pritchett explains, “It’s nice to have for these for kids because we’re always running into tragic situations that children are involved in.”
The Kids Therapy Center sees hundreds of kids a year, and owner Valerie Myers says many of them have been involved with the police.
Myers adds, “If parents are involved, they’re worried about if their parents are okay, things like that.”
She says her counselors try to remind kids that officers are good people, there to help, but it’s hard not to associate police with sad or scary times.
Meyers shares, “Their anxiety is probably high because it’s not a typical situation to at their house, or wherever they might be at.”
She says offering comfort to kids is what matters most.
Pritchett adds, Their mind is set on whatever the situation is, it’s bad, and it’s a comfort item.”
The Teddy Bears were donated by Gate City Bank and North Dakota Guaranty and Title Company, in Minot brought in the blankets.
The Sheriff’s Office told us, they donated some last year, but officers used them up in the winter.