Edison officers collar pink in October

Staff Writer

EDISON — Members of the Edison Police Department are brightening their blue with a little pink this October for national Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The officers will be wearing pink T-shirts under their uniforms, distribute literature and raise funds for medical research.

Edison PBA Local 75, its Superior Officers Association and the Police Administration have teamed up to raise public awareness about breast cancer, the importance of early detection and vital support services available to women diagnosed with the disease.

“Every police officer in our department has family members, friends, neighbors, or simply knows someone touched by this pervasive form of cancer,” said PBA President Michael Schwarz.

“If our slightly off-beat, unorthodox approach helps just one woman with early detection, encourages her to see a doctor and receive early, life-saving treatment — it’s mission accomplished.”

One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. Each year it is estimated that over 246,660 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.

And although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 440 will die each year.

The front of the officers’ pink T-shirts has the Edison PBA logo and the reverse side has the slogan: “Edison Police Department/Fighting More Than Crime.” A pink ribbon replaces the “I” in the word “Crime.”

Only the collar of the pink T-shirts will be visible at the V-neck of their uniform shirts.

“This will be a subtle visual message, but one we hope encourages our residents to start a dialogue with officers about combating breast cancer,” said Police Chief Thomas Bryan, whose wife Dawn is a breast cancer survivor.

All police vehicles will be stocked with pamphlets about the importance of early detection, breast cancer treatments, and locally available support services.

“This literature will be at our officers’ fingertips so they can better inform the public,” said Bryan.

Deputy Police Chief Ronald Mieczkowski said breast cancer touched his family in the most tragic way. His wife, Sandra, died from breast cancer in 2008 at the age of 44.

“It is an understatement to say how proud and grateful I am to the men and women in our department who created and are participating in this month-long initiative,” he said.

Mieczkowski added that he and his son, Matthew, who is an Edison patrolman, will definitely be wearing their pink T-shirts.

“Efforts like this – that educate and inform our residents – clearly demonstrate that Edison’s police officers are engaged and involved with the people they serve,” said Mayor Thomas Lankey. “This is really what community policing is all about.”

The PBA is selling the pink T-shirts to its officers for $10. The police union will also make the pink T-shirts available to the public on its website: www.edisonpba.com.

The PBA will also be selling the T-shirts at the VFW Nam Knights’ annual barbecue at the Edison Senior Park and Pavilion, 2963 Woodbridge Ave, on Oct. 8. All proceeds from the T-shirt sales will be donated to breast cancer research.