During the month of October, Westminster Police Department (WPD) traded in their blue shoulder patches for pink to mark the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The department invited residents and visitors to join officers in supporting women’s health and public safety personnel through the Pink Patch Project, a campaign designed to bring attention to the fight against breast cancer and to support cancer research.
“It’s an awesome program and it’s an awesome thing to do,” said Kellee Wells, WPD property and evidence technician. “It’s amazing to see how many other agencies jumped on board and not just in California, but across the nation with the pink patches.”
The Project centers on officers wearing, selling and trading pink versions of their police or fire patches during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
WPD’s Pink Patch Project holds a particularly special place in Police Service Officer Cynthia Moranville’s heart because she is a breast cancer survivor.
“This agency has been a hundred percent behind the program since the beginning,” Moranville said. “Even when I was going through my treatment, they were a hundred percent behind me, allowed me to go in, have my chemo, and then be able to come back to work.”
WPD’s pink patches are purchased by their police officer’s association and sold for $10. The department also sold pins and keychains for $5.
“Agencies that are out there are putting forth the effort and getting really creative during the month,” Wells said. “They’re coming up with all kinds of different things like pink challenge coins and pink police vehicle wraps.”
The department also allowed non-sworn employees to add light pink into their hair for the month.
All proceeds collected from the patches, pins, and keychain sales will be donated to the Susan G. KomenFoundation.
Thus far, the department has raised over $2K in donations.
In addition to selling and trading their traditional WPD pink patches, the department also created a special K9 pink patch.
This is the first time that WPD created a division specific uniform patch designated for a K9 unit.
“We wanted to be a part of showing our pride and support for those who are fighting cancer and to honor the memory of those we have lost to cancer,” said Officer Travis Hartman, Pako’s handler. “I worked with Barksdale Custom Patches to create our pink K9 patches to show my pride for my four-legged partner and the hard work he puts in every day.”
The 50 pink K9 patches sold out within the first 48 hours of the sales launch.
The Pink Patch Project not only raises awareness for breast cancer but also brings agencies together.
Throughout the month, WPD traded their pink patches with other police departments across the country and has proudly displayed them in their offices.
Moranville said the WPD’s participation demonstrates its support and solidarity throughout the community, as everyone has been affected in some way by cancer.
“This department has been magnificent all the way around,” Moranville said. “They’re 100% supportive towards this whole program and again, anybody that has to deal with this type of situation.”