Lovingly handcrafted by Idyllwild resident, “Trauma Bears” bring comfort to young victims

HEMET, Calif., — When law enforcement officers respond to critical incidents, traffic collisions, emergencies, and crimes that have just been committed, they often find themselves having to contact and comfort children caught in the middle of situations they cannot possibly understand. Those incidents, and their related investigations, have the potential of leaving involved children terrified and traumatized over what they witnessed or went through.

Wanting to help bring comfort to those children, Idyllwild resident Mollie Sanders has been handcrafting Teddy Bears – also known as Trauma Bears – which she has been donating to deputies who patrol the Hemet and San Jacinto valley, along with the surrounding communities they serve.


Bicycle rider, 7, ID’d after fatally struck by truck in San Jacinto

Menifee man, 38, ID’d after fatally struck by vehicle following I-215 collision

Corona private school teacher’s aide arrested for lewd acts with a child younger than 14

Investigation continuing after man found deceased outside Beaumont business

Wanted felon & second man arrested after stolen vehicle pursuit near Perris

“It may seem funny to see our deputies holding these adorable stuffed toys, but they actually serve an important purpose in the work our deputies have to do,” Hemet Sheriff’s Station recently explained.

“These Teddy Bears, often referred to as ‘Trauma Bears’ are carried by our deputies in their patrol units and are provided to any small child they may come across during difficult or traumatic incidents,” officials continued.

Citing James Ownby who said, “There’s just something about a Teddy bear that’s impossible to explain. When you hold one in your arms, you get a feeling of love, comfort, and security. It’s almost supernatural.”, officials went on to explain, “Something about these Teddy Bears just makes a child begin to feel just a little safer, and maybe hopeful that everything is going to be ok.”

With Teddy Bears lovingly handcrafted by Idyllwild resident Mollie Sanders, deputies who respond to emergencies involving children are better able to provide comfort and distraction to our county’s smallest and youngest victims. Hemet Sheriff’s Station photo

Agreeing with that sentiment, Joy Hansen – a mother of three who lives in the Anza Valley, one of the many unincorporated communities served by Hemet Station deputies, told RCNS today how much she appreciates the fact that deputies keep those bears handy for cases involving children needing the extra comfort, love, and support that only a simple stuffed toy could bring them.

Hansen went on to say that after being involved in a traffic collision last month that sent her to the hospital, leaving two of her shaken, but otherwise uninjured children behind in the protective custody of deputies until her husband could arrive at the scene, deputies were able to give her girls, ages 3 and 5, two adorable bears.

“I know it wasn’t much, but those Teddy Bears helped give my girls something to focus on other than the trauma of the accident we had just been in,” Hansen explained; adding, “Those two bears now hold a special spot in my girls’ hearts, and both are now cherished by my girls.”

SEE ALSO: Guest Writer Spotlight: I Was There and They’re Lying – By Robert Socha

Officials went on to thank Sanders for her thoughtful and much-needed donations, saying, “Thank you for your kindness, Mollie. We have no doubt these adorable bears will serve as an important peace of mind to a child that may need such a comfort.”

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.


Leave a Reply