KENTFIELD, CA—October 4, 2016—October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this past weekend the College of Marin Police Department participated with a bold show of support. On Saturday, October 1, one of the police patrol cars—donned in pink—was parked at the Indian Valley Campus as over a thousand runners passed by. Freshly wrapped with the message of breast cancer awareness, the patrol car was finished just in time to kick off the awareness campaign during Rotary Club of Ignacio’s Marin Color 5K.
“As a District we are proud to bring attention to important issues like breast cancer awareness month, especially given that Marin County was long considered to have one of the highest rates of diagnosis in the world,” said Superintendent/President Dr. David Wain Coon.
According to the American Cancer Society breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States. Today, millions of women are surviving breast cancer due in part to early detection and improvements in treatment.
A major component of early detection is providing information about the disease, risk factors, recommended screenings, and available resources. To help raise awareness the College decided to capitalize on the high visibility of police vehicles by wrapping one in pink. The wrap includes the pink ribbon, which has become the universal symbol for breast health, encircled with the phrase, arrest breast cancer—unlock the cure.
“The idea to wrap the car in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month actually came out of a chief’s meeting,” said acting Police Chief John Adams. “I thought it would be a good way to show community support for the cause, and it was great timing to have the car wrapped and ready by October 1 when all the runners would be at IVC.”
Chief Adams reported that the car grabbed people’s attention and was a big hit with those attending the Marin Color 5K event. Kids were able to get inside the patrol car while Adams demonstrated how the lights and sirens work. Well over 200 people stopped to take pictures with the car.
Other local law enforcement agencies use various approaches to show their support during of breast cancer awareness. Last year the Fairfax Police Department affixed the iconic pink ribbons to their police cars along with license plate frames promoting breast cancer awareness. They also wore pink ribbon lapel pins throughout the month. In addition, this year department personnel are wearing pink shirts underneath their uniforms in place of the dark blue undershirts they typically wear.
“You see many organizations, such as the NFL and Major League Baseball, supporting the national awareness campaign,” says Fairfax Police Chief Christopher Morin. “Just as people see athletes in those high-visibility games, the public notices police officers as they drive around on patrol or are out on foot in uniform.” Making good use of that visibility to support the campaign is something Chief Morin and the department believe is a worthwhile effort.
San Rafael Police Chief Diana Bishop explained her department’s approach to raising awareness. During October their department uniforms will have a slightly different look. Like many agencies, they will wear the pink ribbon lapel pins. This year, they also joined the Pink Patch Project, and have switched out the standard department patch for one that is embroidered in pink. The project is part of a larger grassroots effort that was launched in northeastern Los Angeles County last year, and has since grown to include over 40 law enforcement agencies throughout the state.
“The San Rafael Police Department is participating for the first time this year in the Pink Patch Project,” said Chief Bishop. “This breast cancer awareness campaign is spearheaded by our Police Association. We all recognize the often devastating effects of this disease and want to use our visibility in the community to start conversations about prevention and education.
Although 99 percent of cases develop in women; it’s important to keep in mind that the disease affects all genders. Everyone, regardless of their gender, should be on the lookout for lumps and changes in their body. Early detection can be aided by following the American Cancer Society’s guidelines, which are posted online.
Campus Police will be parking the pink patrol car in different locations at the Kentfield and Indian Valley Campuses throughout the month of October. They will also wear pink mourning bands over their badges in remembrance of those who have passed away after battling the disease. The various awareness efforts are intended as reminders that people should talk to a doctor about their risk for breast cancer, and encourage friends and family members to do the same.
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College of Marin is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at: www.accjc.org
College of Marin is one of 113 public community colleges in California and approximately 13,000 credit, noncredit, and community education students enroll annually.