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Sheriff promotes breast cancer awareness

Some people don pink ribbons, wear pink in their hair or buy a pink T-shirt in October.

Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin is promoting breast cancer awareness with a pink patrol car after help from some volunteers.

Franklin said she got the idea to overhaul an old patrol car a few years ago from another task force that had one in their fleet.

“This car was just going to be stripped for parts and crushed because it was old and had too many miles to even be used in our reserves,” Franklin said. “I thought this would be a good way to get the conversation of breast cancer awareness and prevention going in the community. A pin sheriff’s car is definitely eye-catching.”

The unique car did not cost anything to the sheriff’s department or the county, according to Franklin and her father Woody Woodard. The car was painted and restored by Woodard, an artist who regularly does car restoration work. The car’s lettering was donated by Shelton Signs in Decatur.

“We thought this was a good cause, so we wanted to help out with what we could,” said Derek Shelton of Shelton Signs. “The sheriff’s office gives us a lot of business, and we were happy to help.”

The vibrant pink car is emblazoned with the sheriff’s logos and other phrases, including “Unlocking the cure” and “PHRASE.” Franklin saw the car for the first time Friday afternoon and was thrilled with the results.

“I am so happy with how it turned out,” Franklin said. “My daddy did such a great job. I told him I wanted it Mary Kay pink, and that’s exactly what I got. I think it’s going to get a lot of attention. We’ve already had people stopping by to ask about it, and one of those people was a breast cancer survivor.”

The car will not be used for active patrol, but Franklin said, instead, the car will be a novelty vehicle to take to events, meetings, the annual breast cancer walk and more.

“The car already has over 242,000 miles on it, so it will be a fun thing to take to community activities and such,” Franklin said. “We have the annual breast cancer walk coming up, and I wanted to make sure it was finished before then. I would like to get a little more work done inside to spruce it up more, but I just love it. We’ve always done the walk and sold T-shirts, but this will take breast cancer awareness one step further for us.”

Woodard said Franklin has held breast cancer awareness close to her heart for some time.

“We have both escaped cancer, and she has been involved in breast cancer awareness for a while,” Woodard said. “Breast cancer awareness has been one of her pets, and she wants to make sure everyone sees the importance in regular early detection screenings. It’s something that she really cares about.”

“Some people see breast cancer as strictly a woman’s issue, but it’s a family issue,” Franklin said. “Breast cancer affects the entire family, so it’s an issue for not only women but anyone who cares about a woman in their life. It affects sisters, wives, daughters and more. I want this pink car to be something Morgan County can be proud of.”

Franklin said she will be challenging her fellow male sheriffs to do more for breast cancer awareness.

“There’s always been a running joke that I would have pink patrol cars, and now I have one,” Franklin said. “I’m going to send a picture of it to all the male sheriffs around to challenge them to find a way to support breast cancer awareness as well. We are always trying to find ways to be competitive, and hopefully this will help us all find a way to support a good cause.”