KALKASKA, Mich. — The wife of a Michigan police officer is putting old uniforms to good use by giving them to children in traumatic situations.
The Kalkaska City Police Department had about 150 retired uniforms dating back to the early 1990s sitting in their basement and wanted to come up with a creative use for them, WWTV reports.
“It just kind of popped in my head — well why don’t we make teddy bears for children that need a little extra something special?” Eva Gray told WWTV.
Gray uses almost all of the uniform for the bears. She uses the pants to make the bodies, the shirts for teddy bear coats, and the buttons for the eyes.
“I actually have been able to incorporate the signature lines from the police officer uniforms into the bears,” Gray said.
Each bear takes Gray about 2 1/2 hours to make, but she has gotten quicker as she makes more.
“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.
Each of the bears that Gray makes is going to children involved in “critical incidents,” such as a car crash or 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 want to make sure that they know the police are there to help,” Kalkaska police Lt. Glenn Artress said.
About 75 bears will be made from the uniforms. Two will be kept in the back of each patrol car to give to kids who need it.