SYCAMORE – As the 56th annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival approaches, the Sycamore Police Department is getting into the spirit of the season.
During the week of the festival, police officers will be able to don a special patch. The patch is the result of a collaboration between Officer Luke Kampmeier and Sgt. Jeff Wig of the police department.
“I’ve been with the department for 17 years, and I’ve always wanted something like this,” Wig said. “I love Pumpkin Fest. I love this town.”
He said he collects police patches, and it’s something he’s always been interested in. The Pumpkin Festival patch actually has been around for a while, he said.
“We got them just after Pumpkin Fest last year,” Wig said.
This year, police personnel received permission to wear the patches during the week of the festival, from Oct. 25 to Nov. 1.
“It’s a chance to highlight a big part of the city,” Sycamore Police Chief Jim Winters said. He announced the patch Monday night at the Sycamore City Council meeting.
Kampmeier designed the patch digitally, Wig said, and then Wig took the design to a South Carolina company that makes police uniform patches.
It looks similar to the regular Sycamore police patch, but with an orange border and a pumpkin in the center instead of the usual leaf.
The patch isn’t just for show. On Sunday during the festival, a booth will sell patches to the public for $10 each. Supplies are limited, however, with only 150 available. The money will go to the Sycamore Police Explorer Post.
The Police Explorer program is for children interested in a law enforcement career. They interact with police officers and go on ride-alongs, Wig said. You’ll be able to spot them at Pumpkin Fest by the light blue shirts they’ll wear, he said.
“If we sell there, we take the money to them,” he said. “It’s win-win.”