KEARNEY – University of Nebraska at Kearney Police officers will wear special pink patches on their uniforms throughout October to increase breast cancer awareness and raise money for those fighting the disease.
UNK Police is joining Kearney Police Department and the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office, along with other law enforcement agencies across the country, by participating in the Pink Patch Project during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“We’re all working together to achieve a goal of awareness and hopefully one day a cure for not just breast cancer, but all cancers,” said UNK Police Officer Jason Gale, whose brother is currently battling cancer.
The pink shoulder patches, each designed to represent a specific agency, are intended to stimulate conversation and raise public awareness about the importance of early detection and treatment in the fight against breast cancer.
“When a police officer wears a pink patch, that really stands out,” said Gale, who created UNK’s design.
UNK Police sergeants will also have pink stripes in support of the project.
In addition to the awareness aspect, the Pink Patch Project raises money for cancer research and other initiatives.
Through October, the public can purchase the special UNK, Kearney Police Department and Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office patches for $10 each – cash only – at the Kearney/Buffalo County Law Enforcement Center, 2025 A Ave.
The agencies also partnered with Sayler Screenprinting of Kearney to create T-shirts, offered in four colors, that feature all three patches. These T-shirts, available for $15 each, can be purchased at Hy-Vee, 5212 Third Ave., or online at kpdpinkpatchproject.itemorder.com.
Proceeds from patch and T-shirt sales will be donated to Project Pink, a local nonprofit formed in November 2018 to foster education and awareness about breast cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment and provide support and financial assistance to those battling the disease. All funds remain in the Kearney area.
Anyone wearing a Pink Patch Project shirt will receive free admission into UNK’s home volleyball match Oct. 15 against Washburn and the Oct. 19 home football game against Northwest Missouri State.
“We’re always happy to give back to the community because the community supports us so much,” Gale said. “We’re not a separate entity operating on an island. UNK is part of the community and we work in partnership.”
For more information on Project Pink and other local fundraisers, visit kearneyprojectpink.com.