UNION CITY, Ind. — In Union City, Indiana, at least for the month of October, gold and silver are “out” and pink is “in.”
Law enforcement officers on the Indiana side of the border town between the Hoosier State and the Buckeye State are wearing pink badges to promote National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
As well, the city’s Fire Department has joined in, with one of the department’s ambulances sporting bright pink on its wheels, and members of the squad wearing pink T-shirts highlighting the cause.
Capt. Bill Bradbury of the Union City (Indiana) Police Department, one of the original proponents of the idea, said, “We asked ourselves, ‘What can we do to support breast cancer awareness?’”
Though bright pink badges for first responders can be purchased commercially, they are costly — approximately $60 apiece — a hefty price for an item which would be worn only one month out of the year.
Union City Police Department Sgt. Joshua Tudor explained that the department couldn’t justify that kind of expense.
“We were trying to find it in our budget to purchase pink badges, but it was too cost prohibitive,” he said.
The solution, in this case, was pink “plasti-dip” spray.
Parts of the badges not intended to be painted, such as the department name and State of Indiana seal, were first covered in tape. The spray was applied, and once dried, the tape removed.
The plasti dip, however, is not permanent. At the end of the month, the adhesive can easily be peeled off the badges.
“The spray was about $10 per can, and we went through maybe two cans,” said Tudor.
Wearing the badges is completely voluntary, said Bradbury, who added, “We wanted to show a different side of emergency services in our community.”
As well, the wearing of pink badges is a gesture geared toward awareness, not fundraising.
“Right now, it’s just an awareness thing,” said Tudor. “We, as a department, are not raising money directly for cancer research.”
“It’s one of the things we try to do to support the community any way we can,” Tudor said. “A lot of our members are coaches, involved in a number of community projects. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Though the Union City Police department does not fundraise in this instance, that doesn’t hold true for Tudor himself, who runs “Cops Cruisin’ For Cancer,” a non-profit group which teams local police departments with companies in that area to raise money for cancer research.
“One hundred percent of the charitable donations we receive goes to research. None goes to our operating costs,” said Tudor.
For more information on Cops Cruisin’ For Cancer, visit the group’s page on Facebook or email [email protected].