Beards behind the badge: Local law enforcement participate in No Shave November

BRAZOS COUNTY, Tex. (KBTX) – If you’ve noticed local law enforcement looking a little scruffier this month, don’t think they’re being lazy. More than 30 officers with Texas A&M University Police, College Station Police and the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office threw out uniform policy this year and decided to participate in No Shave November.

“The University Police Department announced they were going to do No Shave November, and it caught the attention of some deputies here,” said Sheriff Chris Kirk.

No Shave November partners with the American Cancer Society to raise funds for prostate and testicular cancer research.

According to Lt. Bobby Richardson with TAMU Police, their department
participation has raised more than $1,500 for the organization.

Richardson says when he heard that the other entities were getting on board, “We were excited! The more the merrier, the more money we’ll be able to raise, and of course there’s bragging rights!”

The idea to participate quickly became personal for at least one officer at College Station PD. Officer Gatlin Kling battled testicular cancer two years ago “When I was going through chemotherapy, I was at the office doing light work and I bit my lower lip in concentration and ended up with a mouth full of beard hair. The first thing that starting falling out was my beard here in this department,” recalls Officer Kling.

Three quarters of the College Station Police department donated between $30 and $50 to the cause, which makes Officer Kling ecstatic.

“When you have cancer you look for those little victories, and to be back here in this dept with a beard for a cause like this is one of those victories,” said Kling.

“It’s a show of support not for just our family, but for everybody who’s fighting the good fight against cancer,” said Lt. Steve Brock.

Some of the facial hair is grayer than others, so the officers have been enjoying the chance to joke with one another about each other’s appearance, or lake there of.

But how the beards come in is just a side note, the officers say starting a conversation about men’s health is what matters.

“Cancer is cancer. It sucks no matter what kind you have. So I think an overall global awareness and increased awareness and funds to find a cure can never be a bad thing,” said Officer Kling.

Female officers are getting in on it too. They were asked to donate $30 for the opportunity to paint their nails purple this month for cancer awareness.

Unfortunately, come December 1, the officers will have to go back to their normal uniform policy, but they hope the awareness they’ve raised will have a lasting impact. They also hope to have the chance to do it again next year.