The NYPD has unofficially changed its blue uniform for the month of October showing a more compassionate side. NY1’s criminal justice reporter Dean Meminger says it’s a friendly competition within the department that’s addressing a deadly disease.
If you’ve noticed a bunch of pink police vehicles around the city or officers trading in their standard uniforms for pink ones, it’s for a good cause.
There are countless stories like that throughout the department. That’s why the campaign, NYPD Blue Goes Pink, was created for Breast Cancer Awareness month this year. Thousands of cops and civilian employees are taking part, and using their department social media accounts to raise awareness about the disease. Precincts and NYPD facilities have become a portrait of pink.
In a scene being replicated across the city, employees at the Manhattan tow pound wore pink for their group photo trying prove they’re the most motivated in raising awareness. And for them, it’s personal.
Her colleague and friend Michelle Shaw didn’t survive. She died this year.
Officer Matt Gullo suggested the campaign after the death of a beloved aunt.
“Prior to Officer Gullo coming to our department with this idea, I did not talk about being a breast cancer survivor,” said NYPD Communications Strategist Khadijah Carter. “So once he came to us, it just allowed me to be very transparent about my personal experience in connection to breast cancer.”
According to the national breast cancer foundation, 1-in-8 women will be diagnosed with the disease, and it is the second leading cause of death for them.
More than 1,200 women die in New York City every year from it. Statistics show nearly 1-in-4 city women over 40 have not had a recent mammogram.
So the NYPD hopes this very visual campaign will help get the message out to cops and the community as well.
“So even if one woman goes and gets a mammogram, sonogram, MRI and is diagnosed early, it is an amazing thing,” Captain Codd-Perez said. “Save a life.”