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patrol cars pink
These pink-wrapped patrol vehicles are part of the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office’s effort to raise money and awareness for breast cancer during the month of October.

Yes, the pink-wrapped car that you see on the road is an official police vehicle.

After several years of paying tribute to breast cancer awareness month the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office has once again rolled out a number of patrol vehicles that include a wrapped pink theme to honor those that are currently fighting a battle against breast cancer, those that have succumbed to the disease, and the countless others that are vulnerable.

According to Lathrop Police Chief Ryan Biedermann, several members of the sheriff’s office staff have battled the disease over the last several years and that place a renewed focus on the issue.

While Lathrop Police won’t have any of the wrapped patrol cars this year – Biedermann said that because of COVID-19 the agency didn’t think they would be getting any in time to deploy them onto the streets – his officers that choose to do so will be wearing pink patches advertising the sheriff’s office logo during the month.

“It goes to show continuing support for a disease that strikes a lot of women and a lot of the proceeds from the stuff that we sell – you can buy the patches in support – goes to benefit breast cancer research and it brings awareness to the cause,” Biedermann said. “It also gives a chance to educate the public and raise money – it’s a win-win all the way around.

“We have several deputies and staff that have been stricken with breast cancer, and it really drives the point home that you’re supporting a cause that has impacted them in a dramatic way.”

The move is part of a wider effort to build a sense of community within the agency under the leadership of Sherriff Pat Withrow – who Biedermann said has worked hard to create a “family” atmosphere at the agency and to improve relations with the community that they serve.

Withrow, much like Biedermann, spent a large portion of his career serving Lathrop as a deputy on assignment to the community and has spoken favorably about the relationships that he built during his time there.

“We did things like this before, but Pat has really driven it home – we talk about how the sheriff’s office is like a family and we take care of our family and that includes the citizens too,” Biedermann said. “It’s really pushed and fostered by the administration and his leadership – it’s on a different level.

“It speaks leaps and bounds about his style of leadership and it really comes across to the community as genuine – it’s not about what the agency next door is doing but what we are doing, and it shows that we are leading instead of following.”

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.