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Oakwood Police get donation of stuffed animals
Teddy bears given to children at scenes of accidents, domestic violence
Patrol Sgt. Danny Crawford of the Oakwood Police Department loads stuffed animals into his cruiser Friday. An area business recently donated stuffed animals to the police department to be handed out during calls involving children. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Police work is not hard all the time. A little softness goes especially a long with way with one group of upset residents.

That’s why Oakwood Police Chief Randall Moon arrived to the department last week and pulled two giant bags filled with brand new teddy bears out of his SUV cruiser.

Children love toys. When emergency calls involve little ones, it sure does help to have something nearby to hug, he said.

“Unfortunately we do (deal with children a lot) at domestic disputes, traffic accidents and such,” Moon said. “We give them a bear and it calms them down.”

Wayne Farms supplied the department with the recent haul of 55 new stuffed animals, which Moon collected last Friday.

Administrative assistant Lois Hurt coordinated the volunteer effort on behalf of the company, a poultry producer with locations throughout the Southeast.

Hurt contacted Moon and asked about the department’s need, if any, for teddy bears, the chief said. He readily accepted.

“Lois called me and said ‘We’d like to do this.’ It was their idea,” Moon said. “They are always eager to help us out in any way.”

Hurt led fundraising efforts by organizing an internal sale of office equipment and supplies at Wayne Farms. Donations from employees were also accepted.

“Donating to the Oakwood Police Department’s Teddy Bear Blue campaign is especially important to us because it helps first responders comfort children when they need it most,” said Fonda Semerjian, the company’s manager of marketing and communications. “We are grateful to our employees for supporting this important cause.”

Another fundraiser is planned in April by a company employee who is part of the Friends of Oakwood Police group.

Bob Boren, corporate safety manager for Wayne Farms, is organizing a pancake breakfast benefit to support the department’s K-9 unit. The 7-10 a.m. breakfast April 16 will be at ACE Hardware parking lot at 3446 Winder Highway in Robson Crossing plaza.

Monies raised will pay for a special padded training suit used to train the department’s police dog, Bandit, as well as K-9 units that train in Oakwood from other departments, Moon said. The cost of the suit is nearly $1,500, he added.

Such partnerships between companies and the police department are special, Moon said. Businesses make up a large segment of the population in Oakwood, so any positive communications make policing easier when negative situations occur, he said.