REACH-A-Child Files Over 600 Books at Milwaukee District 2 Police Department

MILWAUKEE (CBS) — The Milwaukee Police Department’s (MPD) District 2 has 30 police cruisers, and now thanks to the REACH-A-Child program, each one is stocked with books to help children through traumatic incidents.

“As an officer, it’s very hard to see. Children go through trauma all the time and it’s very hard. Probably one of the hardest parts of our job,” said Captain Patrick Pajot of the MPD.

Now, agents will have another tool to help them with these interactions.

“This child is having the worst day of his life,” said Curtis Fuszard, executive director of REACH-A-Child.

This is called a REACH BAG. On Thursday, Fuszard dropped off one for the 30 backpacks holding 15 books each, plus another 200 books to fill them. Whether an officer encounters a child because of a fire or a family crisis, the book can provide a distraction when it can only partially remove him from the situation.

“Often times [it’s] a police car,” Fuszard said. “Open the backpack full of new children’s books and ask the child to choose one they would like to read together. So now the child is comforted by the presence of a first responder and the power of a book.”

REACH-A-Child provides thousands of books to emergency responders across Wisconsin. On average, a book costs them $10. To keep the bags full, they receive donations from individuals and companies, like Kohl’s Cares.

Officers thank Fuszard for the generous donation and say they will often come in handy.

“We’re going to come back to District Two as often as you want,” Fuszard told captain Pajot. “Hopefully this has taken them from a very scary emotional state to a more soothing and comforting one.”

You can find information about donating a book to REACH-A-Child here. Fuszard says they still need bilingual books.

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