By Dan Copp
The Houma Courier, La.
LAFOURCHE PARISH, La. — Deputies in Lafourche Parish are being allowed to grow beards year-round to raise money for charities.
Sheriff Craig Webre made the policy change this week after his department raised thousands of dollars in November and December for over 20 nonprofit organizations like the American Cancer Society and Special Olympics Louisiana, officials said.
“In recent years, we have been allowing deputies to pay $25 to grow a beard during these winter months to help some worthwhile causes,” Webre said. “After what we’ve been through in the past two years, I figured there’s plenty of great causes to allow this to continue all year. So, I am changing No Shave November into No Shave Forever.”
Deputies who want to maintain a beard will donate $20 per month to charity beginning Saturday, the Sheriff’s Office said. Those employees who want to donate without growing a beard will be allowed to dress more casually on Fridays.
Law-enforcement agencies traditionally only allowed officers to grow mustaches but no beards. The new beard policy in Lafourche aligns with many law-enforcement agencies throughout the country as they “seek to look more like the populations they serve,” the Sheriff’s Office said.
“Beards have become more commonplace and accepted in our society, even in professional settings,” Webre said. “The public has had a positive reception to our deputies’ beards. I’ve even received positive comments myself, so I will be participating along with many deputies, and it’s all for great causes.”
During November and December, the Sheriff’s Office raised $2,595 for the American Cancer Society and $1,260 for Special Olympics Louisiana.
This year, deputies were also allowed to donate to a charity of their choosing. The following charities received donations:
— American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
— American Red Cross.
— Bless Your Heart Nonprofit.
— Children’s Defense Fund.
— C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors).
— Crossroads Pregnancy Resource Center.
— Do Good Farm.
— Friends of Beyond the Bell.
— Hail Mary Rescue.
— Holidays at the Hospital.
— Lafourche Civic Association.
— Louisiana SPCA.
— National Fallen Officer Foundation.
— National Shrine of St. Jude.
— Operation BBQ Relief.
— Operation Homefront.
— Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation.
— St. Genevieve Catholic School.
— St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
— Wheelchairs for Warriors.
— Wounded Warrior Project.
— Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 448-7639 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @DanVCopp.
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