The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

October 25, 2013

Pink Pistols

Belgium officers spread cancer awareness

BY JENNIFER BAILEY
jbailey@dancomnews.com

---- — With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, pink ribbons, T-shirts and other pink items have been a common sight.

In Belgium, village police officers also joined the cause by sporting pink. Two of the village’s four part-time police officers have been carrying pink service pistols this month.

Capt. Dale Ghibaudy, with the Belgium Police Department for 26 years, and Chief Josh Brown bought the pistols for their daughters and have been carrying the bright pink handguns on duty to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Ghibaudy said he’s received mixed reactions from people regarding the pink pistol.

“Some people giggle,” he said of those who think it’s funny to see a police officer with one.

Some women are proud to see the pink pistol.

“The ladies get a kick out of it,” Ghibaudy said.

He said people have asked him what arrestees think about the gun.

“I have not arrested anyone lately,” he said about working in the village of about 450 people.

The public sees the pink gun sticking out of the holster.

Ghibaudy said he’s proud to show off the pink gun during his night shifts. During the day he works at Bunge Milling.

Ghibaudy lost his biological mother to breast cancer and his step-mother has beat the disease.

“We bought (the pistols) for our daughters,” Ghibaudy said.

Ghibaudy’s 20-year-old daughter, Karly, uses the pistol for sport.

The idea for the pink pistols came from the wife of Eric Cunningham, Lauri, who runs Black Jack Firearms in Ridge Farm. Ghibaudy talked with them about the pink pistols a few months ago and he promised Lauri he’d carry the pistol when on duty this month.

Ghibaudy thinks it’s been fun. He wanted to do his part too to spread awareness throughout the community about breast cancer.

Ghibaudy said he’s also had pink handcuffs too for the fun of it.

Belgium Village Clerk Harriett Nelk said she’s used to Ghibaudy doing different things.

“I think it’s great,” she said of him and Brown carrying the pink pistols. “I bet they do stand out.”

She said it’s “wonderful” to see “younger fellows” show their support and raise more awareness about breast cancer.

Belgium Village President Mitchell Valangeon also thinks it’s great that the officers are carrying the unique pistols this month.

“I agree with it,” he said.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of screening and the early detection of breast cancer.

About one in eight women born today in the U.S. will get breast cancer at some point during her life. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer in women.

Breast cancer occurs mainly in women, but men can get it, too.