“Have you seen Gone Girl? It’s got the wildest twist in it,” says Constable Gary Gomez to Constable Tyler Rowles as they sit side by side at THE TEN SPOT Beauty Bar getting their nails painted pink.
It’s not officer downtime, rather the two constables are participating in the Canadian Cancer Society ManiCURES event meant to raise awareness about breast cancer and to support breast cancer research and services for patients.
The idea is to get people to pledge men to get their nails done, explains Patricia Mclaughlin, of the Canadian Cancer Society.
“It’s just something that will open eyes and help in supporting cancer research,” says Constable Ryan Willmer who got his nails painted a bright pink at the event.
This year eight officers took part in the event and have raised more than a $1,000 with more donations expected, says Mclaughlin, of the second year Toronto Police have got involved.
The first year Staff Sergeant Chris Boddy was the only Service member to participate in the event, this year it has been expanded to all of Ontario for all men, although TPS is the only police service involved in the event, adds Mclaughlin.
“It will create awareness, cancer affects everyone, it has affected me personally through both family and friends,” says Sergeant Jazen Brautigam, who was at the event getting his nails painted. “Having my nails painted pink will spark conversation.”
It’s an event that sparks conversations,” says Constable Gary Gomez.
“What better way to engage with the community than to have painted nails,” adds Gomez. “It’s for a good cause and people will ask what it’s about.”
Settling in for his manicure School Resource Officer Tyler Rowles looks in amusement at an assortment of nail colours to choose from, turning the bottle over to look at its name, “It’s called ‘Sorry I’m Fizzy Today’.”
Nail colour names aside, Rowles says he is participating in the event to have fun with fellow officers for a good purpose.
“I’m going to go school and tell the kids I got my nails did,” says Rowles, after his manicure.
It didn’t take a lot of convincing to bring officers together explains Boddy, who organized the event, noting that police officers love to support charitable causes and this one is a lot of fun.
As the officers walked out of the nail salon, delicately holding their hats while trying to dry their fingernails, a woman approaches them and sees their hands.
“Thank you,” she says to the officers. She goes on to explain that she is a breast cancer survivor, “It means a lot to see officers trying to raise awareness… awareness is important; it saves lives,” she says before going on her way.
“People come up to us all the time (at such events),” says Camille Beaubien, of the Canadian Cancer Society, who was lending her moral support to the event. “It shows you how common the disease is.”