The policy of police departments are male officers need to be clean shaven, but there’s a reason why officers in some parts of Butler County are sporting facial hair this month.
For “No Shave November” — often used to raise awareness of prostate cancer — officers with the Fairfield, Middletown, Oxford and West Chester Twp. police departments have paid a designated amount of money in order to grow a beard. Some are allowed to have their beard until the end of November, and a few departments have allowed them to keep it until the end of the year.
“It’s a chance to do something different, and different from what we do, but anytime you can do something to help kids have a better Christmas or something, it’s worth it,” said Middletown Division of Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw.
Funds raised in Middletown will be invested into their community projects, including the annual Shop with a Cop, its Halloween program for children with mentally and physically disabilities, and other children-focused events, the chief said.
“It’s great for the community,” said Major Andy Warrick, who himself is sporting a fresh beard.
Middletown police officer Patrick Glassburn said he’s a country boy who loves growing a beard so paying $20, especially for “a great cause,” is a small price to pay.
This is the second year for Middletown’s “No Shave November.”
With officers pitching in at least $20 to grow a beard — and females who work in the office can wear jeans for November — the department raised around $800 last year. So far this year, the department has raised around $1,100.
West Chester Twp. officers are pitching in $40 to be able to grow for November, or they can up it to $60 to be able to keep their beard until the end of the year.
This is West Chester’s second year doing something for “No Shave November,” said Chief Joel Herzog.
“One of the officers approached me three years ago and said something about it, and I thought about it and said, ‘If we do it, we’re going to do it for a reason,’” he said.
Last year the department raised more than $3,000 for PARACHUTE, the Butler County organization that provides court-appointed special advocates for children. This year, they’re raising money for Cincinnati Children’s Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children, and have collected nearly $5,000.
“It’s something that we can do, and allows the officers to have fun … and at the same time you raise funds for an organization,” he said.
Oxford Police Chief John Jones said officers there are allowed to grow a beard if they pay $40 in November and December. Proceeds, he said, will be donated to Team Quinton, in honor of Quinton Richardson, who is being treated to relapsed leukemia and preparing for a bone marrow transplant.
Quinton is the son of Oxford Parks and Recreation employee Jake Richardson. Jones said employees who aren’t participating in “No Shave November” are encouraged to donate to Team Quinton.
This is the first year for the city of Fairfield, and officers can pay $50 to be able to grow a beard until the of the year.
“I thought it was a good cause for a worth-while organization that helps children of the community,” said Maynard about allowing the fundraiser. There are a few rules, he said, including that the beards must be trimmed and “no neck beards” are allowed.
While Maynard said it’s great to see so many of his officers participating in the fundraiser, not all beards are created equal.
“Some beards are better than others,” he said.
Community members who wish to donate can do so by contacting their respective police departments.
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HOW TO HELP
Want to join your police department’s fundraising efforts? Here’s how to contact them:
Fairfield Police Department: 513-829-8201 or 5230 Pleasant Ave., Fairfield, Ohio 45014
Middletown Division of Police: 513-425-7700 or 1 Donham Plaza, Middletown, Ohio 45042
Oxford Police Department: 513-524-5240 or 11 S. Poplar St., Oxford, Ohio 45056
West Chester Twp. Police Department: 513-777-2231 or 9577 Beckett Road, No. 500, West Chester Twp., Ohio 45069