Jared Boyer has been a police officer in Morton, Illinois, for a little over two years. He’s seen a lot in his time patrolling the streets, but he continues to experience firsts while monitoring his neighborhood.
While he was out on patrol one day in June, he saw something brown and fuzzy laying dangerously close to a lane of traffic. Initially, he thought it was an animal, and pulled over to take a closer look.
Officer Boyer realized it was a teddy bear laying in the street once he got closer.
“At first I thought the thing in the road was an animal,” Boyer said to the Journal Star. “When I saw it was a teddy bear, I was surprised it hadn’t been run over. It was on the edge of a driving lane.”
Not thinking anything of it at the time, Boyer took the stuffed bear back to the police station. Little did he know how desperate Chelsea Camp was to get the bear back for her 1-year-old son.
Camp had been out that day with her son, Micah, running errands around town, and at some point, lost the bear. Despite her efforts to retrace her steps, she couldn’t find it anywhere.
That night, Camp made a post on the Mortnonites – Problems and Solutions Facebook page with a generic photo of her son’s Ty Classic shaggy bear. It didn’t take long for the information to reach Boyer.
Another officer spotted the post and passed the information along.
Only 17 minutes elapsed between the moment Camp made her post on Facebook and her call with the police. On the other end, Morton police told her Micah’s stuffed bear was in the evidence locker and available for pickup.
“Another officer saw the mom’s Facebook post about the missing teddy bear, and we were able to get the mom’s phone number,” Boyer said. “It’s great that we could return the teddy bear to the family.”
The family was happy to have the bear back, but admit that it’s disappearance is still something of a mystery. Camp believes Micah tossed the bear out of the window without her husband, or her 3-year-old daughter, realizing it.
The police department’s diligence in returning the teddy was widely praised, most notably by Morton Mayor Jeff Kaufman.
Mayor Kaufman presented the police department with a stuffed bear in a police officer’s uniform.
Police officers are rightly praised for putting themselves in danger and saving lives, but it’s the little things that bring communities together. Kaufman heard about their efforts to reunite Micah and his teddy and wanted to recognize them.
“I heard what happened with the lost teddy bear and I wanted to do something to thank our Morton police officers for what they do for us every day,” Kaufman said.
But nobody was happier or more appreciative than Micah.
“Micah is very happy to have ‘Teddy’ back,” Camp said.