Johanna Hoagland, a Vacaville police volunteer and breast cancer survivor, signs her name on a pink police car bearing her name. The Solano chapter of Pink Heals, of which Hoagland is a member, regularly visits cancer patients aboard a pink fire engine named "Christine." Now "Johanna," donated by the Vacaville Police Department and painted by L&M Autobody Shop, will join the Pink Heals fleet. Credit: Jessica Rogness, The Reporter
After spending years in the fleet of Vacaville’s crime fighters in California, a freshly painted pink police car will now help a nonprofit organization fight cancer.
The Solano County Chapter of the Guardians of the Ribbon/Pink Heals unveiled the retired Vacaville Police Department patrol car February 22, which they christened “Johanna.”
Known as “Bubbles” at the police department, the car was one of the last they had with the “bubble bar” lights on top.
Now it’s named after Johanna Hoagland, one of the chapter’s original members, a Vacaville police volunteer and a two-time cancer survivor.
Hoagland was surprised.
“That’s why I was crying and walking over to my daughter,” she said after the big reveal at L&M Autobody Shop on Quinn Road. “I needed support.”
She had rushed to hug daughter Erika Enslin, a fire captain in Sacramento, CA when Cliff Campbell, a Vallejo Fire battalion chief and vice president of the Solano chapter, began reading Hoagland’s biography. It subtly revealed it was Hoagland whose first name would grace the car. Her other daughter Janna Polik was there to witness the unveiling as well.
Hoagland was a community service officer in Rohnert Park in the 1980s, and in 2000, got cancer for the first time.
“Being the fighter that she was, she kicked cancer’s butt,” Campbell said.
Hoagland later became a Vacaville Volunteer in Police Service and a chaplain, and brought what Campbell called her “infectious energy” to the police and fire departments.
Then she fought breast cancer in 2010.
She is a volunteer with a support group at Kaiser Permanente Vacaville, an usher at the Vacaville Performing Arts Theatre and a Markham Elementary School crossing guard.
She also teaches knitting to children, holds a craft group in her home on Friday nights and knits items to give to children with cancer, Campbell noted.
Hoagland regularly participates in the visits that Pink Heals makes to cancer patients with its pink fire engine named “Christine.”
“I go out on anything and everything I can go out on,” she said.
Pink Heals volunteers are joined on these visits by local police officers, firefighters and public safety dispatchers.
The Vacaville Police Department donated the car in September, L&M donated the paint job and Soroptimist International of Vacaville donated the money to have the sign graphics put on the car.
Vacaville Police Captain Ian Schmutzler was managing the fleet at the time.
“They (Pink Heals) came to me with the idea of doing the police car,” Schmutzler said.
It has a lot of miles on it, but it’s still in decent shape.
“Vacaville has been huge in the support of Pink Heals,” Campbell said.
Also adding their signatures to the car were Police Chief John Carli, Mayor Len Augustine and Councilwoman Dilenna Harris, along with several other cancer survivors and the families of those who have passed away due to cancer. Vacaville police officers and Solano County sheriff’s deputies witnessed those signatures.