Teddy Cops program encourages Katy ISD special needs children

Police officers can be intimidating to special needs children, so Luis Santiago, Katy Independent School District police officer, is changing that, one teddy bear at a time.

In a surprise Teddy Cop visit to a classroom at Wolman Elementary on Thursday, October 8, Santiago presented students with teddy bears that wore blue police uniforms. The Teddy Cop program began in 2015. Since then, Santiago has distributed more than 2,100 bears. He said police uniforms can scare children, and working to get past that fear is important. He took a knee as he handed out the bears and explained that police officers are friends.

“If we can teach them not to be afraid of the person in the uniform, we just made their life easier and made the officer’s life easier because now we’re learning about autism, how to interact with children with autism, how to communicate,” Santiago said.

He explained

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