Sheriff department’s pink handcuff campaign to combat breast cancer meets brutal backlash

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) is taking part in a Breast Cancer Awareness campaign by sporting pink badges and using pink handcuffs to make arrests according to Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

“Pink badges & pink handcuffs, all meant to grab your attention as we raise awareness and pray for a cure to end Breast Cancer!” Villanueva enthusiastically tweeted. He also pointed out that due to the pandemic, “many women have put off mammograms and other cancer screenings.” The campaign usually starts in October, but the LASD is getting a head start this year due to the pandemic.

Pink handcuffs are nothing new when it comes to encouraging mammograms. A number of police departments have done it across the nation over recent years.

Villanueva also commented that they are giving a large amount of money to combat the disease: “At the Pomona Breast Health Center @pvhmc, we donated over ten thousand dollars to their cancer research.” And he is urging women to get examined: “Please, get your checkups! Don’t be afraid. Early detection is key!!”

Those proceeds come from the Pink Patch Project. It is described as a “collaborative effort among the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs’ Association and more than 500 public safety agencies. The pink patches are sold to both public safety officials and the general public, as are other merch items including t-shirts and stuffed animals.”

Elective care such as mammograms was delayed after the CDC recommended that hospitals suspend it due to fears of spreading the coronavirus according to BreastCancer.org. Screenings, surgeries, and other treatments that weren’t considered urgent got put on hold and potential cancer cases went undiagnosed and untreated because of it.

Even worse than lack of detection, was the sobering fact that some women were forced to wait weeks or months to get life-saving breast cancer surgeries unless they were diagnosed with an aggressive type of breast cancer.

In a poll conducted by BreastCancer.org of more than 600 women and how they were affected by breast cancer care during the pandemic, 32 percent stated there was a delay in routine clinical visits. Another 11 percent indicated there was a delay in mammograms.

Because of the coronavirus, 30 percent said that fear led them to change their treatment and 80 percent said they were afraid their care would be impacted by the pandemic. There was also a significant decline in breast cancer screenings.

“We found very significant drop-offs in screening rates for breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung cancer,” Dr. Jennifer Haas of Massachusetts General Hospital remarked.

According to the CDC, breast cancer is officially the second most common cancer among women.

Not everyone was thrilled by the actions of the police department.

On Facebook, one person snarked, “Is there a color to end police brutality?” Another wrote: “Good ol’ tyrants.” On Twitter, the pushback was even worse:

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