Word spread on social media during April about Hunterdon Local 188’s one-of-a-kind, brightly colored patches. Local 188 member Andrew Lerner helped design a special-edition law enforcement patch in honor of Autism Awareness Month.
The design included puzzle pieces in the background as a symbol of unity, which was the message behind Lerner’s project.
“Everyone loved the patches — they’re amazing,” Lerner expressed. “The little puzzle pieces symbolize autism and how everyone’s fitting together.”
During April, Local 188 sold 250 patches to members and residents of the community and raised $4,000. All the proceeds went to benefit the Arc of Hunterdon County, an organization that works with community members with disabilities.
“They were very ecstatic, and they were very grateful for our donation,” Lerner remarked. “And we were very grateful, too. We learned so much about autism. And we want to be able to help them out in any way and do this again with other charities, too.”
Local 188 members were also motivated by the opportunity to promote autism awareness.
“Community policing and community outreach are an opportunity to give back to people, that’s why we became cops,” Lerner added. “And at the end of the day, it’s the least we can do to provide some assistance, provide some funding, have the opportunity to meet some amazing people and to learn.”