Ann Arbor police ask for stuffed animal donations for new Children's Nook inside police department

Officer Jennifer Sartori creates safe place for kids inside police department


ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A police station can be a scary place for a child. Visitors have to walk through security, and there are police officers with guns and badges.

But the Ann Arbor Police Department is doing what it can to make children feel more comfortable inside its walls.

"I just thought that having a reading area and a very colorful area would be something the kids would enjoy and make the police department a positive experience," Officer Jennifer Sartori said.

Sartori said she's seen how nervous children are when they have to go to the police station with their parents.

"They look at the gun," Sartori said. "Kids always want to know if you've been involved in a shooting."

Sartori is a mother of two and decided that children need a safe place inside the police building where they can read, play with stuffed animals and feel comfortable.

In January, Sartori created the Children's Nook, which is a bright area with books and stuffed animals in a building that can be surreal everywhere else.

"The children can kind of escape by reading a book, and we also have stuffed animals they can take with them," Sartori said.

The Children's Nook has been a great success so far.

"Kids who come here on a repeat basis, they will come right out of the elevator, and they'll come right to get another bear," Sartori said.

The idea has been so successful, police are running out of stuffed animals to give to children, which is why they're asking the public for donations.

"We're really down to our last three pups, so we're looking for new stuffed animals," Sartori said.

To donate a new stuffed animal to the Children's Nook at the Ann Arbor Police Department, drop it off at the 301 East Huron Street location at the front desk on the second floor.

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