Teddy Patrol to begin in Oakland

September 21, 2011 11:56:32 AM PDT
A Teddy Bear patrol unit will hit the streets of Oakland starting today in a program designed to help distressed children, police said.

The patrol will distribute stuffed teddy bears to children who officers encounter during shifts throughout the city. Officers will carry individually bagged stuffed animals in patrol cars and hand them out as a comfort to children, according to police.

A kick-off event is scheduled at Horace Mann Elementary School this afternoon where officers will present teddy bears to six kindergarten and first grade classrooms. Students will get to name and keep the stuffed bears.

About 500 bears were donated to the department from the nonprofit Teddy Bear Patrol in conjunction with Oakland Police Activities League. The program is also designed to create a positive relationship between children and police officers, officials said.

The kick-off event begins at 1 p.m. at the school located at 5222 Ygnacio Ave. in Oakland.