NOPD Detective Jolivett Can’t Put A Price On Teddy Bears

         They’re cute. They’re cuddly. They’re consoling. And they’re the latest weapon in the NOPD’s arsenal.

         “I pass them out when I meet with family members of homicide victims,” NOPD Detective Latina Jolivett, LMSW, a licensed master social worker, said. “Teddy bears offer comfort to the families that I’m providing them to. The kids are really excited to get the bears. They grab them, and hug them and hold them really tight. Sometimes they name them after the loved one they lost. They really appreciate the teddy bears we give them.”

         Arnaud’s Restaurant, in partnership with the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation (NOPJF), will host its second annual Teddy Bear Program starting today, Thursday, November 12, 2015, to benefit the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) and local community. Last year the restaurant collected 500 teddy bears for police to hand out to children they encounter while on duty.

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         Detective Jolivett, who’s been with the NOPD for 19 years, and has been a detective for 10, said she must have handed out about 200 of them at NOPD headquarters, at 715 S. Broad St., when families came in to meet with her during homicide investigations. She said she shows them the plush pack of bears and they pick the one they most identify with.

         “We have teddy bears in all sizes and colors, and some even play music,” she said. “I find that adult victims of sexual assault find comfort in the bears as well. It’s something they hold on to when dealing with their grief and trauma.”

         Arnaud’s customers and the public are encouraged to donate new teddy bears at designated collection sites. The goal this year is to collect 1,500 bears, triple that of 2014. At the end of the collection period, Thursday, December 31, the teddy bears will be donated to the NOPD and distributed to children who have been afflicted by tragedy or victimization.

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         “With hundreds of teddy bears donated last year, the men and women of the New Orleans Police Department experienced firsthand the real difference they can make when they share a friendly, furry bear,” Melanie Talia, Executive Director of NOPJF, said. “They look forward, once again, to the opportunity of helping these children and families cope with traumatic events by giving them a little something to hold on to during a time of crisis.”

         The NOPJF, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the New Orleans Police Department by promoting excellence in policing, efficiency in criminal justice and positive community engagement in New Orleans, was founded in 1995. The group played a decisive role in launching the reforms and policy innovations that helped New Orleans lead the nation in crime reduction in the late 1990s.

         Today, the NOPJF is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a “Stake Out For Justice” program at The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 500 Canal St., at 11:30 a.m., featuring keynote speaker Jonathan S. Aronie, Esq., co-managing partner of the Washington, DC, office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP, and consent decree monitor for the NOPD.

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         Not only does the NOPJF work with the local police, they also rally community groups, business leaders, criminal justice agencies and City officials to “get behind the badge,” and seek supporters, like Arnaud’s, to join their partnership to make New Orleans a safer place.

         “We remain humbled by the outpouring of support from the local community for our very first Teddy Bear Program last year,” said Archie Casbarian, co-owner of Arnaud’s. Since 1918, Arnaud’s has served classic Creole cuisine and currently offers live Dixieland Jazz in the Jazz Bistro, romantic dinners in the Main Dining Room, cocktails in the award-winning French 75 Bar and an assortment of private dining rooms overlooking the historic French Quarter. Through the holidays, they’ll also proudly display a collection bin to collect teddy bears.

         “It’s amazing what can be accomplished when we all work for the common good,” Casbarian said. “We value our partnerships with the NOPJF and NOPD, and look forward to unifying our efforts once again to better the community.”

         So far there have been more than 130 murders in New Orleans this year, and Detective Jolivett said many of her colleagues on the force donate new teddy bears to the cause. “We bring them to police headquarters or district stations, and the public can too,” she said. “We’re trying to collect 1,500 bears this year. I meet with families all the time, and we definitely get the volume where we can pass out all the bears we collect. And it’s necessary to provide victims’ family members with these bears, because they become a source of healing from the grief and trauma they’re facing. The biggest benefit is the source of comfort they provide.”

 

         Collection bins for the Teddy Bear Program can be found at:

Arnaud’s Restaurant
813 Bienville St.
New Orleans, LA  70112
(504) 523-5433
www.arnaudsrestaurant.com

Nightly                                  6:00 p.m.

Sunday Jazz Brunch           10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Thanksgiving Day                11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Special lunch hours on:

December 11                       11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

December 14 – 18               11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

December 21 – 24               11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

 

New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation
400 Poydras St.,  Suite 2105
New Orleans, LA  70130
(504) 558-9944
www.nopjf.org

Monday – Friday                   9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

 

New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau
2020 St. Charles Ave. – Lobby
New Orleans, LA  70130
(504) 556-5011
www.neworleanscvb.com

Monday – Friday                   8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 

         For more information

 

 

 

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