October is known throughout the United States and the world as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The goal of the month is to raise awareness and research funds for the treatment of breast cancer, which affects 1 in 8 women in America. Nationwide, there are expected to be over 300,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed this year. Breast cancer is one of several cancers that primarily impact women.
The Wellesley Police Department, along with many other agencies, is recognizing this month by wearing a pink pin on the police officer uniform during October. While the pin primarily represents breast cancer, it is a conversation starter for all types of cancer that can affect women.
In 2019, the Wellesley Police Department developed a pink Wellesley Police patch. These patches are being sold at the Wellesley Police Department building and other familiar Wellesley stores for $10. Proceeds from these sales are donated to the Julie Fund, a Wellesley-based charity that supports education, advocacy, research, and patient support for women battling cancer. The fund was established in the memory of Wellesley resident Julie McAvinn, who passed away in 2004 from ovarian cancer. The Julie Fund has donated some four million dollars in the fight against cancer since its inception in 2004. More information about the fund can be found here: http://juliefund.org/about/
In addition to a pin, Wellesley Police Officers also wear pink patches on their uniform throughout October. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the department is also wearing pink face coverings with the WPD patch.
This year, Wellesley Police Chief Jack Pilecki wanted to take the Breast Cancer Awareness month campaign one step further. The department began enthusiastically converting a fully marked cruiser from the traditional WPD colors, to a highly visible pink cruiser that would continue to respond to calls for service and remain completely operational.
The department located a temporary paint (‘Plasti-Dip’) that would transform the cruiser to pink on a temporary basis for October. Technicians from MHQ in Marlboro (our cruiser supplier) were able to provide a computer mock-up of what the cruiser should look like in pink, and the best way to paint it. MHQ also produced custom temporary graphics for the cruiser, including Julie Fund decals. DipYourCar.com a Florida based Plasti-Dip supplier, took the mock ups and provided the best paint options, and some needed expert advice, for the project.
Muzi Collision Center in Needham applied the paint professionally to the cruiser in one day, along with the graphics. The result is a professional looking cruiser with custom, unique graphics that will be responding to calls for service in October.
Wellesley Police Cruiser 1406, primarily assigned to K9 Winnie, the department’s comfort care dog, went in service in the beginning of October. Winnie’s driver, Officer Tana DiCenso, will be using the cruiser on her evening shift throughout town. During the day, School Resource Officer (SRO) Kathy Poirier will be traveling to schools with the cruiser.
The Wellesley Police Department thanks the many men and women from the various companies who went above and beyond and put forth a good deal of their creativity and effort to make the pink cruiser possible.
Interested in a patch? Purchase them at Fells Market on Weston Road, The Linden Store on Linden Street, Marks Pizza on Washington Street in the Lower Falls, and Tutto Italiano Wellesley, located in the heart of Wellesley Square. You can also find them at the Wellesley Police Department.