October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign designed to increase awareness of the disease. It is estimated that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. It’s a disease that can have a profound impact on the patient and their families and loved ones.
This year, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month carries with it a special importance to the Prescott Police Department (PD) family.
"…of course breast cancer affects everybody. But this year we had two members of our Police Department, their wives were diagnosed with breast cancer," Deputy Chief Amy Bonney said. "When that hits home, public safety is a family, Prescott Police Department is a family and this was one of the things we decided we could do to support them and let them know they’re not battling this alone. We are with them, the community is with them… This is a statement for them from their Police Department family."
As a way of showing their fellow officers love and support, the Prescott PD decided to take part in the Pink Patch Project.
"Deputy Chief Bonney is kind of the brainchild behind all of this," Officer Dave Fuller explained. "She’s done all the work."
Fuller was sitting at his desk as he explained the Pink Patch Project. His desk was covered with pink polo shirts.
"We have partnered with a couple of different folks and organizations. We’ve partnered with the Prescott Police Department Foundation… They’re kind of fronting the money and helping to pay for things like this so it doesn’t come out of City funds and budget," Fuller said. "We’ve also partnered with Yavapai Regional Medical Center, the Breast Cancer Research Center."
Bonney described the overall Pink Patch Project efforts, "It is a national campaign, dedicated to raising awareness, education about early detection and treatment, and about breast cancer. Each department does it differently, but under the umbrella of the Pink Patch Project. So, we partnered with them… and they let you pick what charity you want the money to go to," she said. "For ours, we chose to go through the Prescott Police Foundation and partner with Breast Care Center at Yavapai Regional Medical Center since they’re local."
"We will be wearing these starting October 1 all the way through the end of October," Bonney added.
Anyone who knows Chief Debora Black and her team, knows that when they decide to do something, they go all out. So, the Prescott Police Department officers and employees aren’t simply adding a patch or wearing pink polo shirts.
Their stripes will also be pink for the month of October.
One of the police vehicles has even been transformed. Fuller said it will be driven throughout the community during the month of October, and will be used during daily calls.
Who is participating?
"The really cool thing," Bonney said with enthusiasm, " We did not make this mandatory…"
Chief Black chimed in with a wide smile, "Officers can wear their traditional uniform, or they can go pink. We’ve had an overwhelming response of people that want to do this."
"Everyone," Bonney said with pride.
Other police departments in Arizona are taking part in the Pink Patch Program including:
Many local events are planned throughout the month. Some of the key events to watch for:
October 1 will be the big kick-off day. Look for "Facebook popups" throughout Monday at locations such as Dutch Bros, the downtown Square and even out at Panera.
October 2, they will be participating in the National Night Out activities at Frontier Village.
October 3 will be Coffee with a Cop at Waffles ’N’ More (1365 Iron Springs Road, Prescott)
October 19 they will be participating in the Prescott High School Football game
October 23 you can see them at the Yavapai College/Prescott High School volleyball game.
Purchase a Pink Patch
According to Bonney, patches are available to the public for sale at $5 each, which includes a pink paper ribbon that can be signed and added to a banner of pink ribbons in the Police Department lobby. All funds raised will be given to the Prescott Police Foundation and the YRMC Breast Cancer Research Center.
You can get the patches at the Prescott Police Department, or at their Facebook Popup events throughout the month.