Mashpee Police Department patrol officers may look a little bit scruffy from now until the end of the year.
The department, which has a no-facial-hair policy, has again relaxed its standards for patrolmen, this time for two months, so long as officers donate $100 to the Shop with a Cop program.
Capt. Thomas Rose said the majority of patrol officers, about 25, are participating this year.
“Each guy’s got to donate about $100,” he said.
The officers can sport beards or mustaches, whichever they choose.
“They don’t have to shave for a month, basically,” he said. “It’s a win-win. They donate the money and it goes to a good cause.”
While the officers do not have to shave during the months of November and December, they do have to keep their facial hair neatly trimmed.
Capt. Rose said not all the officers are able to grow bushy beards.
“Some of the guys do try to grow it out,” he said. “Some of the stuff is actually quite comical.”
Capt. Rose said many officers are participating because this is the one time of the year they can grow out their facial hair.
“The policy is no facial hair, to include mustaches,” he said. “We’re like the New York Yankees.”
Capt. Rose said the temporary and conditional lifting of the clean-shaven policy started a few years ago when officers didn’t shave for “Movember,” which brought awareness and donations to testicular and prostate cancer research.
Now, the money raised goes to their Shop with a Cop program. Officers take children from lower income households to go shopping for Christmas presents.
“Last year, I think there were four or five kids we took,” he said.
Many of the officers supplement the donated funds by paying for gifts themselves.
“Things aren’t very cheap these days,” Capt. Rose said. “A few hundred dollars doesn’t go very far.”
Many officers, who plan on still shaving, will still donate.
“We donate but we can’t participate,” Capt. Rose said, referring to the command staff.
The union, which is running the initiative, is accepting donations as well, he said.
There is no specific goal for the fundraising but anyone who wants to make a donation can either contact Union Vice-President Matt Koch or Union President Will Cuozzo. The main number for the Department is 508-539-1480.