A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky State Police raising funds for Trooper Teddy Bear outreach program; give before midnight

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

You have until midnight tonight to help the Kentucky State Police raise funds for the Trooper Teddy Bear program, a program designed to develop trust between law enforcement and children.

All proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Trooper Teddy outreach program, which allows troopers to provide teddy bears to children who have been in traumatic situations, such as car crashes, as victims of child sexual abuse, or dealing with a terminal illness.

“As a trooper, it tugs at your heart to see a child visibly upset and shaken,” said KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett, Jr. “These children are often innocent victims of a crime and giving a bear to them provides comfort while building much-needed trust.”

One example is Hannah Dysinger, who was a survivor of the 2018 Marshall County High School shooting. She was taken to the hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound and hours after the incident, and while still receiving care at the hospital, law enforcement officers, including a KSP detective, interviewed her and gathered evidence.

After that traumatic day, Dysinger and the KSP detective saw each other in court and began to build a rapport. Months later the detective surprised Dysinger with a Trooper Teddy.

“My bear means so much to me and symbolizes that the situation wasn’t entirely traumatic while still providing me with a child-like comfort that I needed after the shooting,” said Dysinger. “It gave me something to hold on to.”

In 2020, the Trooper Teddy Black Friday sale raised $1,035 during a shopping season challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, so the agency hopes to top that figure this year.

“Our troopers continue to be humbled by the support this program receives from citizens across the country,” said KSP Spokesperson Capt. Paul Blanton.  “We hope that Trooper Teddy’s will show up under Christmas trees in Kentucky and beyond.”

The profit from the sale of one bear allows the agency to purchase two additional bears.

“I think it’s definitely valuable. I’ve kept mine for nearly four years, and it’s still important to me,” said Dysinger.

The Trooper Teddy Project does not utilize state dollars and relies solely on donations and the sale of bears to sustain it. Buyers have the option to pick up the bear for free at KSP Headquarters in Frankfort or any KSP Post.

The bears are on sale now for $15.  The sale ends at midnight tonight.

For those interested in purchasing a bear or making a tax-deductible contribution to the project, visit the Trooper Teddy website.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment