• 43°

Travel Plaza presents bears to cops

Shown with the bears are: standing, left to right, Officer Freddie Wells, Investigator Dale Lisenby, Lt. Jeffrey Weaver, Dispatcher Susan Rolin, Chief Larry Hammonds, Travel Plaza manager Tammy Smith, Officer Steve Griffis and Investigator Chris Rutherford; kneeling, left to right, Officer Alan Ward and Cpl. Roger Peebles.

Shown with the bears are: standing, left to right, Officer Freddie Wells, Investigator Dale Lisenby, Lt. Jeffrey Weaver, Dispatcher Susan Rolin, Chief Larry Hammonds, Travel Plaza manager Tammy Smith, Officer Steve Griffis and Investigator Chris Rutherford; kneeling, left to right, Officer Alan Ward and Cpl. Roger Peebles.

Creek Travel Plaza organized the Bear Hugs 4 Kids program to help alleviate fear and anxiety in children during such events as car accidents, domestic violence, house fires, etc. Local law enforcement officers were presented with the bears Tuesday, Feb. 17, according to a press release from the Creek Indian Enterprises Development Authority.

On hand to receive the bears were are Officer Freddie Wells, Investigator Dale Lisenby, Lt. Jeffrey Weaver, Dispatcher Susan Rolin, Chief Larry Hammonds, Travel Plaza manager Tammy Smith, Officer Steve Griffis, Investigator Chris Rutherford, Officer Alan Ward and Cpl. Roger Peebles.

Poarch Creek Tribal Police Chief Larry Hammonds said, “As police officers, we respond to many different situations. Domestic violence is among the most dangerous of all for police officers. I often remember responding to car wrecks and having to tell family members that a love one has passed away. These are a daily occurrence for public safety officials.

“We often forget about how traumatic this can be for children,” he said. “Many times, kids witness the outcome of domestic violence in their homes. They are emotionally changed because of the event. As a police officer for many years, I see this as an opportunity for our public safety officials to connect with kids who are victims of these type situations, and just knowing someone cares may have a positive impact on their lives.”

For $25, you can purchase two Teddy bears — one will go home with you to keep or give to a family member or friend, and the other bear will be donated to local first responders and law enforcement officers.

The Tribal Police Department operates under the Special Law Enforcement Commission of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Call (251) 368-0088 for more information or to purchase the bears and help a great cause.