Deputies wear pink badges

WEARING PINK — Belmont County Chief Deputy James Zusack wears his pink badge in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. All of the officers in the department will wear the badges throughout the month of October.

CADIZ — In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, two local law enforcement agencies have made a change to their uniforms.

The Harrison County Sheriff’s Department and Belmont County Sheriff’s Department will sport pink badges in support of breast cancer awareness for the entire month of October. This is the third year that both departments have participated in the initiative of wearing pink.

Harrison County Sheriff Ronald “Joe” Myers said the pink initiative is performed across the state. There are 88 sheriff’s offices in the Ohio, he said.

“Across the state, sheriff’s offices have done something different for breast cancer, and we chose to do the pink badges. There are a few other local offices that are doing the pink badges as well,” he said. “Every agency will choose to do something different.”

Other agencies have driven pink cruisers, worn pink patches and added pink ribbons to their uniforms, among other modifications, he said.

Myers said the department members wanted to make sure they did their part in awareness for breast cancer.

“We have the Wendy’s Walk here, and other organizations that do stuff for cancer. That’s why we did it. There’s a few guys here (Harrison County Sheriff’s Department) that have been touched by breast cancer, through their family. So, it was just the right thing to do,” Myers said.

Wendy’s Walk was started by a local Harrison County cancer survivor, Wendy Ledger. The 5K run/walk typically takes place in October coinciding with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Belmont County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy James Zusack said that breast cancer affects numerous people, and the department wanted to honor these people and their families by wearing the badges this month.

According to the American Cancer Society, there are 271,270 new cases and 42,260 deaths from breast cancer this year in the United States. In Ohio, there have been more than 10,000 new cases and 1,700 deaths from breast cancer this year alone.

“Sheriff (David) Lucas is big on (breast cancer awareness) and he wants to show support through us and the office,” Zusack said.

Like Myers, Zusack also said that many officers in the BCSO have also been affected by the disease.

“It’s a nice gesture. It keeps people aware of how dangerous breast cancer is,” Zusack said.

The pink badges will be a part of the deputies’ uniforms through Oct. 31.