Monmouth County police to get kits to help kids with trauma

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Police officers throughout Monmouth County are now being armed with teddy bears and crayons in an effort to help children.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office announced Operation Cops Care Thursday. The initiative gives police officers around the county resources to help ease children who may be caught up in the middle of a crime scene or emergency.

“They have no idea what’s going on. It could be traumatic. It could be a little scary when you see a loved one who might be getting EMS of some sort, maybe revived, maybe potentially being arrested,” says prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.

Police officers will be carrying little bags that contain items to help put children at ease, such as a teddy bear, stress ball, crayons and water bottle. The officers will keep these bags in their cruisers or at headquarters for the children.

“Our clerical support staff and victim witness advocates put together 5,000 of these for our first effort and we're hoping that it's positively received and that we can take off from there,” says first assistant prosecutor Lori Linskey.

Child behavioral experts say that the initiative is a great idea.

“I think the bottom line is their heart is in the right place,” says Dr. Ankur Desai.

The program is funded by a victim-witness grant.

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