Columbia police pay it forward with 'Pink Patch' for breast cancer awareness

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COLUMBIA - Police officers added "battling cancer" to their job descriptions this year and paid forward the results of their fight to the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center Monday.

The Columbia Police Department went pink in October for breast cancer awareness. The department, with the help of the Columbia Police Officers Association, raised money for breast cancer awareness through the "Pink Patch Project," where CPD officers wore a pink version of their police patch.

The money raised through selling the patches and matched by local businesswoman Rhonda Carlson came out to be $3,636.

CPD Sergeant Scott Alpers presented the check to cancer center Monday. He said the money goes to women who need it.

"[It will] help women who cannot afford mamograms who otherwise may not be checked," Sgt. Alpers said.

Dr. Debra Koivunen is the medical director for the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. She said donations like CPOA's helps the center immensely.

"We have a lot of patients who do not have the economic wherewithal to get everything they would ideally like to have as part of their breast cancer therpay," Dr. Koivunen said.

Sgt. Alpers said the 2020 patch project will start in December. Officers will wear the badges next October. Officers can buy a commemorative pink patch again next year.