ESSEX Police have been heartened and amazed by the artistic talents of the county’s children who have done a fantastic job of colouring in our special pictures of our mascot, retired Police Dog Baloo.
Essex Police and our their Baloo are hoping to spread some sunshine to parents, carers and children across the county this weekend with a brand new activity for the children to enjoy in lockdown.
Essex Police said: “Like you, many of us here at Essex Police, are also parents balancing the struggles of teaching children at home, keeping the routine going and keeping them amused, especially as the weather has taken a downturn.
“So, to help support you, to thank you all for staying home and saving lives, and to give the kids a treat, we have released a new Baloo activity for you and your children to enjoy.
“Artist Tom Knight, a former Essex Police employee, has now designed a storyboard, called “What would Baloo do”, for children to colour in.
“The illustrated story, shows how Baloo comes across two friends, Jack and Charlotte, who are missing each other and, against the current advice, decide to play football.
“Baloo comes across the two children and explains why it’s important they go home to stay safe, protect the NHS and save lives. But Baloo also helps them come up with an idea of how they can keep in touch remotely and still share fun and laughs.
“As well as the storyboard to colour, we are also giving children their own one to download where they can write and illustrate a Baloo-themed story. They may want to create a story about Baloo’s crime-fighting escapades, or even a story about their time at home during the restrictions.
“Once you have finished creating your own Baloo storyboard you can send them into us at Essex Police and, for the winning entry we will have a special Baloo-themed surprise. Please ensure all finished storyboards are sent in to us by Monday 1 June 2020.”
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Wells, who is leading the Essex Police response to the COVID-19 pandemic, said: “We continue to be extremely grateful for how the people of our county are staying home and staying safe, with all of the challenges that can bring.
“We have been absolutely delighted to see how many children, parents and schools have enjoyed the Baloo colouring and activities.
“We wanted to show you our support and gratitude by creating another Baloo activity – a storyboard to colour and one to illustrate – to help support parents and give children something to enjoy.
“Thank you to all of you for all you are doing in staying home and saving lives.”
Don’t forget to keep putting your pictures of Baloo up in your windows to support those working to keeping you safe both in the NHS and Essex Police.
Baloo, a Belgian Malinois is no stranger to surviving adversity and tough times.
In 2018 she had to prematurely end her career as a Police Dog with Essex Police after sustaining life changing injuries.
Baloo and her handler, PC Ross Ashcroft, were responding to an incident involving a stolen car when Baloo was sadly struck by a vehicle. She was left with a broken pelvis and a badly broken leg which eventually had to be amputated meaning she could no longer serve on the front line.
But the noble hound overcame her injuries and now volunteers for Essex Police as a therapy dog. In her new role Baloo visits people in the community, as well as staff and officers at our force, to support their wellbeing and welfare.
Baloo says here’s what to do with the storyboards:
– Download the two storyboards by going to the following link – Baloo storyboards
– Colour in the storyboard we have illustrated and draw and write your own story on to the blank one.
– Encourage children to think about a story based around what Baloo would do in her crime-fighting escapades or things they have been doing while staying home and saving lives.
– Send in the storyboard that your child has written and drawn to Essex Police, marked as:
What Would Baloo Do,
Essex Police Media Dept,
Please send all entries in to us by Monday 1 June.