- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Birmingham police are now armed with a new tool to help comfort children when they are removed from their homes.

A private company - Alabama Court Reporting Inc. - on Tuesday donated 100 backpacks to the Birmingham Police Department so that officers can give them to kids who have to quickly leave home, whether it be crime-related or during some kind of custody or domestic abuse issue.

Many people don’t know that when children are removed from their home in a traumatic way, they often have to put their belongings in a garbage bag, said Lori Warren.

She formed Alabama Court Reporting Inc. one year ago and vowed to put a portion of proceeds toward giving back to the community.

The logo on the backpack says “My Guardian Angel.” She said she chose that because court reporters are the guardians of court records and police are the guardians of their community.

She hopes the backpacks will further build trust between the police and the community.

“The child will have the backpack as a reminder that the police were his or her guardian angel that day,” Warren said.

Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper said the backpacks would be disseminated to patrol officers immediately.

“We believe as police officers we are guardians of the community,” Roper said. “Whatever we can do to make it easier for the children, we want to do.”

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