By Adam Harrison
This October, the University police will be sporting pink police patches in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
This is the sixth year University Police are participating in the Pink Patch Project, a campaign participated in by state, local, and university police departments all over the country to raise money in support of breast cancer research.
The patches will be sold both in the bookstore on campus and online at www.alumni.framingham.edu/pinkpatch.
Patches are being sold for $10 each, and all proceeds are being donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Founded by Nancy G. Brinker, whose sister died of the disease herself, the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is the world’s largest nonprofit source of funding for breast cancer research. According to its website, it has invested more than $2.9 billion toward breast cancer research, advocacy, and community outreach.
University Police initially began participating in the Pink Patch Project because many other universities and colleges such as Worcester State, Salem State, Quinsigamond Community College, and several more had also begun fundraising for the Pink Patch Project, Sergeant Harry Singh said.
“We wanted to give back as well” and contribute to finding a cure, Singh said.
To show their support, University Police will be wearing a patch identical to the traditional FSU patch, but colored entirely pink.
Ramsey, the K9 comfort dog in training, was also shown showing support, wearing his very own pink police patch during Coffee with a Cop.
Singh said he believes it is important to give back to the community in ways like this, to both support those who are battling this disease as well as to expand community outreach.
“We want to make sure we put ourselves in a good light, including the University and the police department,” Singh said.
He added there is a state-wide convention previously hosted at venues such as Gillette Stadium and Polar Park, where police departments from all over Massachusetts gather to support the cause. They come together to “tell the world this is what we did this year, and these are the agencies that participate,” he said.
Singh said he encourages students to get involved with the Pink Patch project because cancer affects a “majority of people.” While speaking to students at Coffee with a Cop, he added many students were willing to share their personal experiences with breast cancer.
“Personally, myself, my father went through cancer. I know somebody who’s already going through breast cancer treatment. A lot of students out there have their own story to tell,” Singh said. “It’s not just my story - it’s everybody’s story.”
He said last year, University Police sold around 80 patches for the Pink Patch fundraiser, and their ongoing goal is to do better than the year before.
Singh said he is hoping to make more students aware of the project. “Social media is the key and we like to advertise everything on it. So hopefully, we’ll do better.”
He added the University Police are continuing to stay active on campus, and will continue to participate in community awareness campaigns to give back. In the past, they have gotten involved in No Shave November for cancer awareness, and a toy drive in December for children in need.
Singh’s biggest role for the University Police participating in the Pink Patch Project is advertising. Both social media and in-person communication are very important pieces for gaining awareness for the project.
Singh manages the University Police Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter), and Facebook. He advertises events University Police hosts and posts them on these platforms in order to maximize student awareness.
In regards to the Pink Patch Project, Singh said they are great platforms to reach students, faculty, and staff to “give them more updates on what we do as police officers every day.”
Patches will be sold not only in the month of October but all year round. The patches can be purchased by contacting Singh at email@example.com, or through the Framingham State Website using www.alumni.framingham.edu/pinkpatch.
When asked about the University Police’s participation in the Pink Patch Project, freshman Marshall Lewis said “You can’t escape cancer - it just comes. It’s pretty sad that people have to go through it.”
He said he believes that “it’s good that they’re doing something to raise awareness of this problem … or to help make a change.”
Christian Nyland, a junior, said, “So my best friend from high school actually died of cancer in June, and that was a pretty big thing in my life.”
He added he likes the campaign. “I don’t know a lot about it right now because I only saw the email on my phone, but I think it’s a great idea. I would buy one, and I think a lot of other students would also buy one.”