For the privilege of growing out their facial hair, officers with Claremore Police Department are paying up.
The department is participating in “No Shave November” for a good cause.
"Our goal is to provide one Christmas gift for each of 453 students at Claremont Elementary School," said Chief Stan Brown. " We have partnered with Toys for Tots to provide those.
We're trying to raise money to help pay for those gifts. The solution we came up with was to do a fundraiser. So we're participating in No Shave November with our patrol officers .
If they want to participate, they'll pay a "fine" of $25 per week into the fund for the ability to grow out their beard."
Brown said the officers are welcome to reach out to community members, business owners, family members or out of their own pockets for the privilege of growing facial hair.
"Most police departments don't allow for facial hair, and we're one of those agencies. We decided to make an exception for a good cause, and have a little fun with it.," he said. "So if you see a police police officer looking a little scruffy, keep in mind it's for a good cause."
He said the department adopted Claremont Elementary School last year.
"Sometimes if kids have interaction with police officers it's in a negative situation, dealing with family matters. This gives us the opportunity to interact with those kids and say 'hey, we care about you as an individual,'" he said. "We can all look back and Christmas, for most of us, was a very important time. It meant family, it meant friends. So, if we can help instill a positive view of police officers,positive view of authority figures and associate it with something they're going to remember, that's very important."
Claremont Elementary School’s Principal Randa Fay says she appreciates the department, and the community, for the support.
Chief Brown said he will join his officers in growing out his beard.
At the end of November staff at Claremont, and female police department staff will get in on the fun by helping judge the best and worst beards.
"The one with the best beard gets to wear it another month, or convey that right on to someone else in the department. We haven't determined what the prize will be for worst beard, but there will be a prize for that as well," he said. "It will be fun, kind of out of the ordinary and for a good cause."