Binghamton’s New York State University Police (UPD) is trying something new, taking part in a month-long New York State Police Department fundraising initiative for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

UPD has joined several other SUNY police departments to participate in the pink pin fundraiser this year. Officers on campus will be wearing and accepting donations for pins with the pink breast cancer ribbon for the rest of October, which is designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The original plan, according to Investigator Mark Silverio, was for officers to sew pink ribbon patches on their uniforms to raise awareness. The department later saw the opportunity for a fundraiser instead.

“The pins were originally meant to be pink patches sewn into our uniforms, but the chief of the UPD thought it would be a more engaging idea to wear pink pins and sell them on campus,” Silverio said.

UPD is asking for a minimum $5 donation to receive a ribbon to benefit Broome County’s official chapter of the American Cancer Association. Silverio said the donors have been few, but generous.

“I went around the Admissions [Center] and sold a handful, but would like to see more being sold to students on campus,” Silverio said.

Amanda Pelkey, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, said she has not seen the sale of pink ribbon pins around campus, but likes the idea of donating for one.

“It’d be great if they had a booth set up, or posters letting us know where to go to get a ribbon,” Pelkey said. “I’d definitely be interested in getting one.”

Silverio said UPD initially planned to do more outreach to the student body, but a delay in ordering the ribbons caused officers to not receive them until mid-October. Ifeoma Ezeilo, a junior majoring in Africana studies, was also not aware the fundraiser was happening, but said she would contribute if she saw UPD officers selling pins.

“Putting $5 toward breast cancer research really adds up when everyone contributes,” Ezeilo said.

Silverio said UPD plans on continuing the fundraiser next year and pursuing a larger donation pool.