Fort Collins officers provide wholesome response after 6-year-old calls 911 for ‘hurt’ stuffed animal

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) — Two Fort Collins police officers are being recognized for their wholesome response after a 6-year-old called 911 to get help for her stuffed animal.

On Feb. 9, Natalie Coulter was playing on one of her mother’s old cellphones that hadn’t made a call in years.

“I’ve always given her a dead phone to play with to pretend she’s calling somebody and I never thought anything about it,” said Brittany Coulter, Natalie’s mother.

While the phone was deactivated, it could still call 911. That’s exactly what Natalie did, telling dispatch her stuffed animal was hurt.

Officer Dane Stratton and another officer were nearby.

“Dispatch told us they could hear a child’s voice on the phone but they weren’t getting any response from them,” Stratton said.

They went to the home to connect with Natalie and provide a little education.

“Should we go find a Band-Aid? OK, let’s go find a Band-Aid,” Stratton is heard saying on body camera audio.

“We just got on the floor and started playing with her. It was just great. It was really great,” Brittany said.

Stratton provided some guidance for Natalie.

“Natalie, if Bunny is hurt, we don’t need to call 911. But if you’re hurt, or Mommy’s hurt, absolutely call us, OK?” he said.

Stratton said he welcomed the opportunity to connect with his community.

“The last thing that I want is for kids to be scared of us to — be scared of the services we can provide and to not come to us when they need help,” he said.

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