Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies in Malibu this week began carrying an extra piece of equipment while on duty--teddy bears.
A San Fernando Valley group donated 100 of the stuffed animals to the Malibu sheriff's station for officers to give to children who are isolated temporarily as the result of auto accidents or crime investigations.
"After a car wreck, or sometimes when an adult is arrested, a child can be isolated," said Jean Bolm, spokeswoman for the Assistance Guild of San Fernando Valley. "The idea is to give them something to hold on to."
As part of the group's "Bear Buddies" program, deputies on Tuesday began carrying a stuffed bear or two in their car trunks while on patrol, she said.