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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

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No shave to save

Officers+at+the+University+Police+Department+raised+%241%2C760+for+the+Bryan-College+Station+American+Cancer+Society+during+November.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Photo by Annie Lui

Officers at the University Police Department raised $1,760 for the Bryan-College Station American Cancer Society during November. 

Throughout the month of November, 41 University Police Department officers participated in the annual online campaign No-Shave November to raise cancer awareness by embracing hair, which many cancer patients lose during treatment.
Thirty-five male officers began growing their beards on Nov. 1, while six female officers scheduled nail appointments throughout the month for Nails for November, for which they got manicures with purple nail polish, a color associated with cancer awareness. The visual-oriented campaign is intended to help create conversation within the community and educate people about cancer and its prevention, according to UPD Officer Scott Jackson.
“I hope it sparks a more approachable dialogue with students, staff and faculty,” Jackson said. “I hope it makes them feel that they can approach an officer participating in No-Shave November and have a conversation about cancer awareness or any other topic.”
In accordance with the online No-Shave November cancer awareness campaign, Patrol Operations Lieutenant Kary Shaffer submitted a proposal for UPD’s official participation in No-Shave November and Patrol Sergeant Jennifer Enloe submitted a proposal for Nails for November.
“I hope that No-Shave November and Nails for November open up positive dialogues for everyone. In this area, nail polish may not be a surprise for officers to wear, but the beards certainly are,” Enloe said.
A proposal had to be submitted to the chief of police for the officers to grow their beards, as policy states they must be clean-shaven while in uniform.
“Facial hair, other than a moustache, is prohibited by departmental policy,” Lieutenant Bobby Richardson said. “So to make any changes to policy an officer has to submit a request and so we had some officers get together and submit a request to the chief.”
Both proposals were accepted by the UPD Chief of Police Mike Ragan, who agreed to suspend the policy of ‘no facial hair and nail polish’ for the month of November to participate in and raise funds for the local American Cancer Society, according to Richardson.
The participating UPD officers donated $50 for a beard, $30 for a goatee and $30 for painted nails, raising a total of $1,760. At the end of the month, the funds will be donated to the local Bryan-College Station American Cancer Society.
“Cancer affects everyone, whether it’s physically or emotionally,” Enloe said. “It does not discriminate against color or creed. Almost everyone we know also knows someone that has been affected by this disease.”
Officer Alfonso Lopez said his mother suffered from cancer when he was younger, and for this reason he hopes other police departments are encouraged to participate in the event, while Jackson said he is participating in No-Shave November to help raise awareness specifically for prostate cancer, as he lost a close family member to cancer.
“Going through a situation with a family member or friend that has cancer is something tough,” Jackson said. “Anytime that you can participate in something like No-Shave November, which brings up the topic of cancer awareness, its a good thing.”
Male UPD Officers are not only excited about raising money to help spread cancer awareness, but also about the ability to grow out their beards.
“Many of us here at the police department have been here for a long time,” Richardson said. “Myself, for example, I’ve been here for 22 years, so always being in uniform, I haven’t been able to grow a beard in 22 years.”
According to Richardson, other agencies across the nation are participating in this new trend in law enforcement to raise money for cancer awareness.
“Cancer is the leading cause of death around the world and just in this short time … some of the people we’ve come in contact with have already made comments about you know, ‘Hey you didn’t shave,’” Richardson said. “Then, we get to talk about cancer awareness. And while we’re doing it, hopefully people will contribute to the cause and get checked and hopefully we can help fight cancer.”
Lopez said he hopes UPD will annually participate in No-Shave November to continue the conversation about cancer awareness and to help raise funds for cancer research, treatment and screenings.
“I know Texas A&M is big in traditions, so I hope this is the beginning of one,” Lopez said.
UPDATE: UPD Chief Mike Ragan has extended the No Shave November policy suspension until January 2, 2018. Officers who continue to participate will make donations of $25 for beards and $15 for goatees or nail polish.

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  • Six female officers at the University Police Department painted their nails purple throughout the month of November. 

    Photo by Photo by Annie Lui

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