WESTPORT, Conn. -- After two months of letting their whiskers grow for good causes, a group of Westport police officers recently attended a “shave off” at H Salon in Fairfield.
The end results were clean faces and $3,175 raised for No-Shave November, an online nonprofit organization devoted growing cancer awareness and research, and Homes with Hope, a Westport-based organization dedicated to helping the local homeless population.
About 30 members, or more than half of the men in Fairfield’s cadre of 63 sworn police officers, grew their beards through November and December, said Officer Brendan Fearon, the Westport Police Benevolent Association president.
Fearon, who was nicknamed “Patches” due to his spotty beard growth, said it was a “very uncomfortable,” but worthwhile undertaking for him.
“I'm used to being clean-shaven my whole life, and not being shaven for two months was a unique experience for me," he laughed. "This is the first time I've gone two months unshaven in my life.”
Fearon was originally approached with the idea of raising money through No-Shave November for the first time last year by Officer David Scinto. It was such a hit that the department decided to do it again.
This year, it surpassed its $2,500 fund-raising goal. Each officer who agreed to grow his beard donated $75 and solicited additional donations.
Finally, on Dec. 29, about 15 of the officers went to H Salon for free shaves and haircuts.
Officer Scott Morrison won the Best Beard Award, which judged by the salon staff. Morrison was given a basket of razors, shaving gel and hair-care products donated by the salon.
Over the last two years, Westport police raised more than $7,500 by warding off razors, Fearon said.
“I believe being able to raise the money for the two efforts is important for us,” Fearon said, “especially with the way that police officers in today’s world -- with the media, seem to be getting bad rap -- and officers getting shot and killed on a daily basis and being portrayed as being people that we aren’t. I think that being able to do things like this and give back to the community really sheds a positive light on law enforcement as a whole.”