No-Shave November big success at Parkland this year
As November came to a close and December begins its frosting process, many are still sporting the facial hair accumulated during No-Shave November. The event lasts throughout the month of November and has gained popularity within the last few years. For the first time ever, our own Parkland College Public Safety officers participated in the event.
“Sergeant Kopmann approached me near the end of October and asked me if I was aware of No-Shave November, which I was. He was curious if I would be supportive of that effort and I told him I would be,” Parkland College Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police William Colbrook said.
After the decision was made, nearly all of the Public Safety officers embarked on the challenge to grow a beard throughout the month of November. It proved to be a challenge for most as they previously weren’t allowed to grow a beard due to grooming standards and regulations.
So by participating in the event, Colbrook was effectively allowing his officers to break regulation. That break in regulation was for a good cause: cancer research. This wasn’t Colbrook’s first foray into not shaving while on a police force, though.
“My experience with No-Shave November was with the State Police. The State Police have very strict grooming standards, not that we don’t; however theirs is very strict in that regard. When I did it with my District 8 troopers in Peoria, we decided for it to just be a mustache growth period,” Colbrook said. “This kept us within policy but still allowed to us to draw attention to cancer research.”
The cancer research aspect was what really drew Sergeant Matt Kopmann to the idea of doing No-Shave November. He was familiar with the month-long event and thought it would be a great way to bring awareness to and some solidarity with the student body.
“I knew some of the guys in our department were up for it, I knew I was up for it. I approached Chief and told him some of our guys were interested in doing it and if he would support it. Surprisingly, he said yes,” Kopmann said. “So this is the first time as a police department, that I’ve known, we’ve ever done it. I think that’s pretty cool.”
Kopmann has been with Parkland Public Safety since 2008 and to his knowledge this is the first year the department has participated in the event. The idea wouldn’t have been possible without his planning and the cooperation of the entire department. There were eight officers total that participated.
“Each officer gave at least a $20 donation. Those donations are going to the St. Jude Research Hospital. Since the month is for cancer support, we thought it would be good to send it to them. Chief and I thought that to be the best one to donate to,” Kopmann said.
Kopmann explained that participation was completely voluntary but they had a good turnout. The current policy does allow for a mustache only. The beard is a violation of the policy as the officers are supposed to be clean-shaven. Since they had Colbrook’s support, the policy could be violated for the month. As of Dec. 1, all the participating officers had gone back to being clean-shaven.
As both Kopmann and Colbrook pointed out, No-Shave November isn’t simply about growing a beard for the sake of growing a beard. It’s to bring awareness to cancer and cancer research. As many people fighting cancer lose their hair due to chemotherapy, a man or woman deciding not to shave can provide a sense of solidarity with them.
The website.no-shave.org is one of the forerunners in the fight for cancer and raising awareness through the No-Shave November event. They are a web-based nonprofit organization and their mission is to increase cancer awareness and raise funds to support prevention, research, and education.
“The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. Donate the money you typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle,” the website states.
The month-long No-Shave November event doesn’t seem to be losing any momentum. So come November 2016, if you feel the urge to participate then put down that razor and donate some money to cancer research instead. For more information visit www.no-shave.org.