Sher­iff’s of­fice makes cars a source for aware­ness

Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence and Breast Cancer

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JESSI STICKEL jstickel@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @Jes­si­caIndyNews

Two Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice cars are dec­o­rated in pink and pur­ple rib­bons and graph­ics this month to bring aware­ness to breast cancer and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence within the county.

Capt. Charly Baker, drives the sher­iff’s of­fice Breast Cancer Aware­ness car, which is dec­o­rated in pink rib­bons, in honor of his sis­ter who was di­ag­nosed with breast cancer about 10 years ago.

“In 2006, my sis­ter was di­ag­nosed with breast cancer; she went through chemo and ra­di­a­tion and had dou­ble mas­tec­tomy,” Baker said.

“She was 34 [years old] and had two young kids at the time.”

Baker said that he has been driv­ing around the car for the sher­iff’s of­fice for about three to four years now.

“When I first saw it, I re­quested per­mis­sion to drive it around for the month, I told them my story and now I get to drive it around,” Baker said.

He said there is not a time when he goes out in the pink rib­bon dec­o­rated car that he doesn’t get sev­eral re­ac­tions from the pub­lic.

“The ci­ti­zens love it, they all re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate it. I al­ways get a thumbs up or com­ments on it.”

Baker said he hopes that when the pub­lic see the car, it brings aware­ness for pre­ven­ta­tive health.

“I’ve seen what my sis­ter went through; she is my hero,” Baker said.

This is the first year that the sher­iff’s of­fice is us­ing the dec­o­rated car for Na­tional Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Aware­ness month.

Lt. Ja­son Carl­son, com­man­der of Ju­di­cial Ser­vices, and Sgt. Scott Grove, with the Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Unit, will be driv­ing the car cov­ered in pur­ple graph­ics in hope of aware­ness and pos­si­bly help­ing a vic­tim of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

“It’s ex­cit­ing; we are happy that [the do­mes­tic vi­o­lence] of­fi­cers will drive the car,” CCSO Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer, Diane Richardson said.

The of­fi­cers said that they hope vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence see the car and take ac­tion.

“It’s hard to take the first step,” Grove said.

“There are num­bers on the [sides of the] car that of­fer all kinds of help,” Carl­son added.

Grove said that peo­ple see the car a lot at the court­house, which is also where peo­ple go to get pro­tec­tive or­ders.

“We’re hope­ful the car will get the word out and is an ad­vo­cate for do­mes­tic vi­o­lence through­out the county,” Grove said.

Not only do the of­fi­cers drive the car around the county, but they also said they show­case it at events, such as the Charles County Fair. The of­fi­cers said that the sher­iff’s of­fice holds fa­tal­ity vig­ils at the head­quar­ters for those who lost their lives to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence as well.

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