If you see a police officer looking a bit scruffier about the face, don’t be alarmed. It’s just No-Shave November.
New Haven’s male police officers are being encouraged to let it all hang out ... err, or rather grow out ... at least when it comes to their facial hair to create awareness about cancer and to raise money to support cancer prevention, research and education.
Assistant Chief Otoniel Reyes Jr. said that many in the police department have been touched by cancer in some way because they’ve had loved ones develop it. Some officers are cancer survivors too.
This year for the month of November the department decided to suspend its strict grooming rules that require all officers to be clean-shaven so they can get hairy for a good cause. Of course, it’s competitive so there will be rewards at the end of the month for the officer who raises the most money but also for the best beard, best facial hair and the worst beard.
“The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free,” Reyes wrote in an email to officers. He encouraged officers to donate the money they’d normally spend on shaving and grooming. (Click here for information about how to participate.)
The majority of officers who could grow hair were sporting it at line-up Wednesday afternoon, where Reyes, who also was sporting a salt and pepper beard, reminded them about the challenge.
Reyes confessed that he’s so used to being cleanly shaven that rocking a beard feels pretty out of place to him. But it’s for a good cause and it’s a morale booster, particularly for the younger officers. And once the challenge is over, officers must be back to the status quo by Dec. 1.
Though the heavy lifting of the challenge is for the men who have to grow the hair, female officers who donate a minimum of $10 to the cause get to judge when it comes time to award prizes.
Reyes said there is also a role for the community to play. If you see one of your favorite officers in your neighborhood sporting facial hair ask him about No Shave November and then donate under his name. To donate and check out the leaderboard for the department click here.
Check out the NHPD No-Shave November Rules below:
• Final shave must be November 1st for entry into competition
• $25 minimum buy-in to be eligible for prizes.
• $10 minimum buy-in for female officers, detectives, and supervisors for voting panel
• Additional donations welcomed.
• Minimum Fee must be paid on November 1st, additional donations taken throughout the month.