Imagine if the first time a child meets a law enforcement officer there is some kind of trauma or stressful situation happening at that time. In St. Mary Parish, the Sheriff's Office has started a new program to help children in just these types of situations according to KLFY.

Detective Lieutenant David Spencer told the station before they started this program deputies were already prepared to help de-stress children. They have been spending their own money for a long time to carry stuffed animals in their patrol unit trunks in case they encounter children.

Multiple law enforcement agencies in Acadiana have similar programs. The cost of each teddy bear is six dollars. Spencer says,

Cops have a tendency to have big hearts, but we haven't always let people see that side of it. now with social media people can see there is a lot going on with law enforcement.

Teddy Bear
Barran's Bears Facebook

With a donation from Barran's Bears, the deputies with St. Mary Parish have more love to share with children they encounter from this point forward.

Barran's Bears is a program that began in 2016 with one deputy, Turner Barran, who wanted to get bears. He contacted Frank Labarre owner of Fleet Tire in Metairie. He put out a box at his store to collect teddy bears, both new and gently used according to their website. Turner works for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.

The program just continues to grow. Donations continue to flow in, and those donations are shared with law enforcement in multiple areas of the state, including St. Mary Parish.

Detective Lt. David Spencer
Photo Barran's Bears & KLFY

In correspondence with Detective Lieutenant David Spencer, I asked how we could help. He says anyone who would like to make a donation can make it out to Barran's Bears and send it to this address:

  • Det. Lt. David Spencer
  • St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office
  • 1455 Railroad Avenue
  • Morgan City, LA 70380

The money is then used to buy the bears through Barran's Bears.

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