Michigan woman uses old police uniforms to help children - WNEM TV 5

Michigan woman uses old police uniforms to help children

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Source: CBS Source: CBS
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The wife of a Michigan police officer is using retired police uniforms to help children who are dealing with traumatic situations.

"It just kinda popped in my head, well why don't we make teddy bears for children that need a little extra something special?” Eva Gray said.

Gray has been snipping and stitching to make the bears. She uses retired pants for the teddy bear bodies, retired shirts for the teddy bear coats and the buttons for eyes.

"I actually have been able to incorporate the signature lines form the police officer informs into the bears,” Gray said.

The uniforms date back to the early 1990s.

Lt. Glenn Artress with the Kalkaska City Police Department remembers when the retired uniforms in the basement used to be his everyday get up.

"I started in 1991 and I'm sure there's a pair of pants and a shirt down there that I wore then,” he said.

Each bear takes about two and a half hours to make, but the more Gray makes the quicker she gets.

"The last four that I did I made production line style where I'd do all the heads first parts of the bodies so I didn't have to keep changing threads,” Gray said.

The best part?

Officers will give the bears to children involved in critical incidents, such as a car crash or experiencing family trouble.

"In times of critical incidents children become very upset and sometimes they can get the view that the police might be against them and we really wanna make sure that they know the police are there to help,” Artress said.

The teddy bear campaign all started when the lieutenant asked his officers to get creative with what they could do with the retired uniforms.

Officer Gray took the idea home to his wife, Eva, and she came up with the bears.

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