Westminster police end Movember, start December clean shaven

By Jessica Peralta

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Westminster police officers, sergeants and other employees said goodbye to November by getting reacquainted with their electric razors and clippers.

The long mustaches, goatees and beards allowed at the agency as part of Movember – a fundraiser through The Movember Foundation raising awareness and funds for men’s health issues including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention – came to an end Nov. 30 with the buzzing sounds of electric razors. But not before the agency raised just over $4,000 for the cause – surpassing last year’s $3,500.

“The facial hair got pretty crazy,” said Officer Steve Booth before heading home for his clippers. Booth, who was this year’s Movember coordinator, added: “I think I have the biggest beard, but one of our sergeants right now looks like Santa Clause.”

Both men and women participated in the fundraiser. WPD employees who participated could grow out facial hair based on their donation amount: $25 granted them permission to grow an out-of-policy mustache, $50 allowed a goatee and $100 granted a well-groomed beard. Women could participate with a $20 donation. They received a blue mustache pin that could be worn during the month.

“We got a few donations from citizens, which is cool,” said Booth, adding that when donations weren’t anonymous, they sought ought the donors to give them a pin. As with one woman, “we went out to her house and gave her one of the pins and she felt a part of what we were doing.”

Participants saw it as a fun way to raise money for a good cause, engage with the community – and let their hair grow out. Many of them had not grown a beard in years – since becoming police officers. WPD, as other police agencies, restrict facial hair for their employees. They are normally clean shaven – though mustaches are allowed, according to policy, just not past the upper lip.

The fundraiser was also near and dear to the hearts of many participants who had been personally impacted by family members who were diagnosed with prostate and related cancers.

Officers out and about in the community also saw an increase in public interaction with people coming up to them and asking what the facial hair was about.

Booth said he’ll miss his beard and can’t wait til next year to grow it out again.

“It was fun,” he said.

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