This month, the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office and Cortez Police Department are joining law enforcement agencies across the country in growing out their facial hair for a cause.
Both departments have waived their facial hair requirements until the end of the month for “No Shave November.” Officers will be able to grow out their beards, as long as they’re well-groomed, if they make a minimum donation to benefit a charity. The police department is donating money to Hospice of Montezuma, and the sheriff’s donations will go to a scholarship award and the Montelores Cancer Care Assistance Grant.
This will be the first year the departments have participated in this type of fundraiser, but they’re not alone. Several other law enforcement agencies in the U.S., including the Durango Police Department, are allowing their officers to grow their beards for various causes this month.
The Cortez Police Department’s public information officer, Andy Brock, said about 20 employees were participating so far.
“It was brought up by one of the guys, and it was well-received,” he said. “We thought it would be a fun thing to do and a benefit for Hospice.”
Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin said about 10 staff members were participating as of Thursday. They were all asked to contribute a minimum of $75 to the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office scholarship award and $25 to Southwest Memorial Hospital for the cancer care grant. Nowlin said the office usually awards a scholarship to a local high school senior once every other year through the Colorado Sheriff’s Association, but he would like to offer it every year.
Both departments will require officers to shave again on Dec. 1.
Nowlin said the campaign has been good for morale so far, but he doesn’t plan to let deputies get in the habit of wearing beards.
“This is not a test program to see if we’ll change our appearance standards,” he said. “We’re going to have fun with it, but if we get a lot of complaints, we won’t do it again.”
Normally the sheriff’s office and police department allow male officers to wear trimmed mustaches, but not beards.
Both departments plan to hold a friendly competition at the end of the month for the best facial hair.