Above, Los Angeles School Police show the before and after effects of the November shave-off event.
It took the two dozen law-enforcement officers weeks, months and even years to grow their mustaches but just a couple of minutes to shave their upper lips clean during an event that raised more than $26,000 for the City of Hope National Medical Center.
L.A. Unified School Police joined other agencies in “No Shave Month,” also known by some as “Movember,” when men grow their mustaches to raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancer and other men’s health issues. The ’staches came off on Thursday as professional barbers clipped, snipped and buzzed to the laughter and cheers of the officers’ family and friends.
“It’s an honor for the officers of the School Police that we were able to participate in such a worthy cause of getting the information out on prostate cancer,” said Chief Steven Zipperman. “We were able to deviate beyond our normal grooming policy and allow our officers to grow their mustaches beyond normal regulation to build the awareness of the importance of men’s health issues.”
According to organizers, officers were encouraged to donate the amount they would have spent on personal grooming during November to the City of Hope campaign. The officers obviously kicked in more than the cost of a new razor or a can of shaving cream, as the Duarte-based facility received more than $26,000 to use for cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment.
“The City of Hope is so excited with this partnership with School Police and their efforts to raise the money and the awareness of Prostate Awareness Month,” said City of Hope spokesman Victor E. Benavides.
In addition to benefiting the City of Hope, the month-long campaign built the camaraderie among family and friends of the department.
Renee Sandoval, whose husband, Sgt. George Sandoval has been with School Police for 23 years, said it was fun to promote the campaign on Facebook.
“It was worth the scruffy face to raise money for this cause,” she said.
Also invited to the shave-off was Bell Gardens Police Department Capt. Scott Fairfield, who noted that he was about to lose a mustache he’s had for 20 years.
“It’s a sad day for my mustache but a happy day for the women and men of the Los Angeles School Police Department and the City of Hope,” he said. “It’s my honor to be here and also have our department partner with the City of Hope.”
As to what his wife will think of the new look, Fairfield said, “She’ll be happy because this one is out of control – but she’ll want me to grow it back.”