Blue Line Bears is a nonprofit organization with the goal of helping the children of fallen Law Enforcement officers cope with the devastating loss of a parent. So far in 2016 alone, more than 130 law enforcement officers across the country have been killed in the line of duty, many of them leaving behind children and/or grandchildren. Blue Line Bears is the creation of the 14 year-old daughter of a police officer whose goal it is to help the children of fallen officers through the difficult loss of their parent. Children of law enforcement officers grow up realizing that their parent’s life is at risk every day they go to work. Add to that the fact that there is much public ridicule of law enforcement officers, and deaths in the line of duty are sudden, shocking and violent. With all of this in mind, Blue Line Bears will not only provide a lasting keepsake to help keep the officer’s memory alive, but will also help their child to see that there are caring individuals who respect and appreciate men and women in uniform. Children of officers killed in the line of duty are oftentimes young, perhaps too young to remember the parent who died. For those children, a bear from Blue Line Bears will provide a tangible reminder that their loved one will always be with them.
The organization will reach out to Law Enforcement agencies across the nation in order to get information about the fallen officer, as well as a uniform shirt(s) to create a personalized bear for each of the officer’s children. Blue Line Bears will contact a Victim’s Advocate, Public Information Officer, or Watch Commander to assist with making contact with the appropriate individual within the agency. Once contact is made, Blue Line Bears will request that uniform shirt(s) that will be transformed into a teddy bear keepsake be mailed to Blue Line Bears. Due to concerns that agencies may have regarding the release of uniform shirts and/or patches, Blue Line Bear recommends that the agency remove one of the patches and cut off the shirt collar to ensure that it could never be used to impersonate an officer. The agency will be given the option of mailing the shirt(s) to Cape Coral Police Department to the attention of the Victim’s Advocate. The shirts will be cut, sewn and stuffed into a teddy bear. Additionally, a personalized badge with the officer’s last name and badge number will be sewn on the bear’s stomach while the officer’s Department patch will be stitched onto the back of the bear. If the officer had stripes for rank or service, those will also adorn the bear as well. Finally, each bear will be given a St. Michael medal and blessed by a priest before being mailed to the family. All of this will be done at no expense to the family. Through the use of donations and other contributions, Blue Line Bears will purchase all materials, as well as cover the cost of shipping.