AKRON, Ohio — Several Akron police officers will temporarily add a splash of pink to their uniforms to bring awareness to breast cancer.
Throughout October, which is breast cancer awareness month, the officers have the option of wearing pink patches on their shirt sleeves. Several of the men and women in blue have purchased two of the special patches for $20 and pins for $10.
Akron Uniforms and Levinson's Uniforms are sewing the patches on at no cost.
In addition, the department is offering a $10 commemorative patch for the public that includes a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon on it.
Those interested in buying the patches should call the Akron Fire Police Credit Union at 330-384-8317.
All of the money raised will help fund local cancer research and support services.
For many of the officers, the decision to don a partially pink shirt is personal.
Detective Carol Hill, who works in the property crimes unit, has two aunts on her maternal side who are breast cancer survivors.
"Both of my aunts are in remission, thank God," Hill said. "We just continue to love on them and just make sure everything is okay with them."
Officer Danny Ullman's sister, Beverly Kester, is battling stage four breast cancer.
Kester, a mother of two, was diagnosed at the end of 2018 and underwent 16 rounds of chemotherapy, 30 rounds of radiation and a double mastectomy.
"It was very tough on the family and I was amazed at how strong she was to fight and go through all of this," Ullman said.
The officer will proudly wear the pink patches in support of his sister.
"As soon as I saw that, I definitely was going to do it for her," he said.
Kester said her most recent scan showed no evidence of any new disease and she's grateful for the police department's patch initiative.
"I think it's really great that they're bringing attention to breast cancer awareness and they're raising money for local organizations," Kester said.
Detective Hill believes sporting pink will spark conversation about breast cancer awareness and she hopes it encourages early detection throughout the community.
"We definitely want women to make sure they go out and get their mammograms every year because early detection is the key."