Russell Shupe, Territory Manager for New Mexico and El Paso, is a retired law enforcement officer from Indiana and knows firsthand the importance of providing comfort and support to children during law enforcement interactions. “During my time in the field, officers would carry a couple of stuffed teddy bears with them,” explained Russell. “They were used to help comfort children in times of distress like a house fire or car accident.”
He had a great idea of creating customized soft teddy bears that could be given to children during these interactions to alleviate some anxiety and create a more positive encounter with law enforcement officers. Russell worked with the Public Information Officer of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and collaborated with Barran’s Bears Inc. to create 144 Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Deputy Bears. These bears were specifically designed for kids in their community and have made an enormous difference.