JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — The Johns Creek Police Department has unveiled a new color scheme for four of its patrol vehicles in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
At a meet-and-greet event Oct. 1 in front of City Hall, community members were invited to take pictures with the new pink-trimmed vehicles, and speak with officers and local officials about the fight against breast cancer.
Chief of Police Ed Densmore presided over the event.
“Specifically in Georgia, it’s a battle that a lot of people we know and love are fighting and we want to provide an opportunity for maybe some healing and some reflection to bring the community together with us in the city,” Densmore said. “A lot of departments around the nation will do lapel pins or do a patch especially. We’ve done that in the past, and I got the idea from IFCP [Institute for Cancer Prevention] last year. So we approached one of our vendors about our cars…”
The patrol vehicles were decorated with pink lettering and breast cancer symbols to honor the survivors, affected families or those who lost their lives to the disease. Officers wore pink badges, and, for the first time, vehicles were uniquely decorated in a new way that allowed for community participation. Each vehicle included white hood space for residents to write personal messages or sign specific names to support and remember anyone affected by breast cancer.
City Clerk Joan Jones was the first to add a sentiment on the hood of a vehicle.
Johns Creek Communications Director Bob Mullen expressed his gratitude for Densmore’s central part in putting together the unveiling and his anticipation in seeing the reaction from the new vehicles as they hit the streets.
“It really originated from Chief Densmore,” Mullen said. “He knew of some staff members and people on the force that were survivors or who had been affected in families and he really wanted to take a step forward and create some awareness in our community… these squad cars will be out on patrol and we are excited to see what the reaction is.”
Mullen said breast cancer is something that widespread impact throughout the city and the state.
“I also think it’s important to help people in terms of what they’re facing to know that they have a support network and a good community behind them,” he said. “Early awareness is really important. It’s a good way to get the conversation started.”
The Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition Fund estimates that 8,000 women will be diagnosed in Georgia this year, and 1,200 are estimated to die from the disease. Local facilities such as Emory Johns Creek Hospital and their Center for Breast Care are continuing to research the disease to provide prevention methods and awareness within the community.
Densmore said he hopes that the Police Department display will be one of many endeavors to help mobilize awareness in the city and promote early detection to identify the signs as physicians continue to search for a cure.
“We’re going to be running it month long,” Densmore said. “We’re going to have the cars out and special events…just a chance for people to come by and just heal or for reflection or whatever it may be. [Events and vehicle signing] allow some people to actually participate and acknowledge the terrible disease that I think we all know somebody is fighting at one point.”