Pennington Police are seeing pink! That's because the department now has a pink police car with an important purpose.
"Randy Witherington was the officer behind it," according to Chief Paul Johnson. "His wife passed away to cancer and they developed the concept and actually bought the car, the day before she passed away."
Randy Witherington now works for the Pennington Police Department. Since he and his wife started the venture, at least five more pink police cars have surfaced. Pennington P.D. has had its car for six months. Of the six pink police cars in the nation, it's the only one that can be used to conduct official police stops.
'It's a functioning police car," Johnson says. "It's been stopped by one other agency. They did not think it was a legitimate car. We now make sure that all the officers that travel with it carry their i-d, but yes it's a functioning car."
The car is part of what's known as the COPS initiative, which is short for Caring Officers Providing Support. When it comes to this COPS car, almost everything in it is donated! That ranges from the steering wheel adorned with hearts, to paint job and even a set of pink handcuffs. To operate the initiative the department sponsors fundraisers. As part of one fundraiser, pink COPS t-shirts are sold at many events.
There are currently 8 to 10 volunteers who manage the car and its operations. Ultimately, those involved with the program say it's a labor of love.