For the last month, 122 officers from Bakersfield Police Department hung up their razors and grew out their beards for the sake of charity.
The department’s 4th annual “DecemBeard: License to Fuzz” gave officers a chance to relax their usual grooming standards for the month with the purchase of a $25 beard license.
The only caveat is they had to carry their beard license on them, or risk getting “pulled over” and fined $10 if officers were sporting a beard, but not licensed.
The month-long fundraiser raised about $4.500 and the money will be donated to the Bakersfield Police Department’s Police Activities Center for brand-new drinking fountains.
“Our unit came up with the name and rules of the contest and Command Staff chooses the local organization so that officers could continue through the month of December,” said Carina Ortiz, Community Relations Supervisor. “The staff recognizes it’s a fantastic way to participate beyond themselves, plus they have a lot of fun.”
In 2020, funds from “DecemBeard” were gifted to a local Sheriff going through cancer treatment. Year’s prior, donations went toward helping those affected in the Camp Fire in Butte County and the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.
Photos of participating officers and their beards were posted on a website where friends; family and residents were able to vote for the “Best” and “Worst” beards.
“This is a wonderful experience for our officers and staff, it’s pretty playful, and a lot of fun for all of us,” Ortiz said. “The officers love the idea of not having to shave and keeping up with the daily grind of grooming standards at the Police Department … and it’s always for a great cause.”