Sergeant Jason Cullum knows a thing or two about teddy bears.
“I know how important those are to kids,” he told GoodMorningAmerica.com earlier this week. “We carry teddy bears in our car because we know when we talk to kids having a bad time, if you give them a teddy bear it helps them relax and makes them feel better.”
That's probably what led the Indiana police officer to stop traffic last week after he spotted a lost teddy bear in the middle of the road—just seconds from being run over.
“I have a 10-year-old son who has a teddy bear that he’s had for years," Cullum explained. "The only issue I have is that he dresses him up as a fireman." (Turns out Sergeant Cullum is also kind of hilarious.)
It was a Saturday afternoon when the 15-year police veteran noticed cars were slowing down and swerving to avoid something in the road. Making his way closer, he spotted it: a lone, childless teddy bear, lying in the middle of the street.
So Cullum halted the flow of traffic, scooped up the lost teddy and placed it in the passenger seat, before continuing on his way.
Just a few minutes later, he spotted two men walking along the side of the road, clearly looking for something. Cullum immediately pulled over to ask if they were searching for a lost teddy bear, and, sure enough, they were. The two men were the father and grandfather of the lost bear's owner: 8-year-old Nikki Mayo. Little Nikki had packed her favorite bear onto her family's trailer before heading out on their move to a new home. Clearly, losing the bear would have been somewhat devastating.
So Cullum happily handed over the bear to its rightful owner and headed off. But that's not where this story ends.
The two met face-to-face Monday night for the first time, in what can only be described as one truly touching meeting.
“She told me the bear’s name is Chocolate,” Cullum said. “It was her first teddy bear and she’s had it since she was 4 years old, so it was very special to her. I got to see in her face that the bear was special to her.”
“That was pretty special for me,” he said. “When you do police work, you do a lot of negative work and don’t expect a lot of 'thank you's, so when you do get a thank you and to see her how holding the bear, that made it more special. ”