During the ‘70s and ‘80s, police prided themselves on their mustaches. Around the turn of the century, the clean shaven look was all you saw when you got pulled over.
But in New Paltz 2014, the full beard became the officials’ style as the New Paltz Police Department (NPPD) participated in “No-Shave November.” To raise money in the support of cancer research, six NPPD officers kept the razors off their cheeks for the whole month.
According to New Paltz Police Chief Joe Snyder, he had to grant permission for the participants to let it grow wild because of the department’s policy requiring all officers to be clean shaven while in uniform.
“This was a great event and I appreciate the efforts of our members as well as everyone that donated to support the American Cancer Society,” Snyder said in a press release. “I look forward to participating again next year.”
Snyder was one of the participants. With him were Sgt. Duke Bunce, Officer Robert Sisco, Det. Joe Judge, Sgt. Matt Sutton and Sgt. Keith Lewis.
Snyder said Sutton presented the idea at the department’s November staff meeting and department members were interested in participating. Snyder said he had not known of the event previously, but after looking into it decided it was a great idea.
They set out with the goal of raising $1,000 and donating all of it to the American Cancer Society. This goal was surpassed as the department raised a total of $1,710 to donate to the cause.
According to no-shave.org, the official “No-Shave November” website, the purpose of this event is to raise cancer awareness by “donating the money you usually spend on shaving and grooming for a month to educate about cancer prevention, save lives and aid those fighting the battle.”
According to the site, “No-Shave November” was started in 2009 as a good way for anyone regardless of age, gender, or income level to raise money for a good cause in a fun way. They teamed up with the American Cancer Society in 2013.
Snyder said donations were sought primarily through Facebook posts by the participating members. When many of these posts were receiving “likes” but no donations were coming in, Sgt. Bunce told people through a post that the main goal of the event is to raise money and informed people that while the “likes” were appreciated, donations were more valuable.
After that, the donations started coming in for Bunce, who ended up raising the most of any participating officer with a total of $540, according to the press release.
Snyder said the department will participate again next year, with a larger fundraising goal and he predicts more officers will partake. He also said that although they began a little late this year, they will “be on top of it” next year.