Lancaster makes an exception for a good causeNovember 06, 2017By Peter Jasinski, firstname.lastname@example.org
LANCASTER -- When it comes to facial hair, the town's Police Department has some pretty strict guidelines.
Sideburns can be grown out, but they can't go any lower than an officer's earlobe. Mustaches are allowed, but only to the bottom of the lip crease, preventing any of the handlebar or goatee variety.
Beards are out of the question.
Nearly every police department has its own facial hair policy, as Lancaster's Lt. Everett Moody explains.
"It's part of that old belief on it being more professional and wanting to look more approachable to the public," he said.
However, this policy will be suspended in Lancaster for the next few weeks, meaning the local fuzz is about to get a whole lot fuzzier.
In honor of "No-shave November," Lancaster police officers are growing out their facial hair as part of a statewide effort of first responders to raise money for Home Base. Organized through the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital, Home Base helps veterans and their families overcome issues relating to post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries.
"We do have a couple veterans in our department and one is a Purple Heart recipient. This is really something that strikes home for use, which is why we picked it over some of the other programs," Everett said.
Unlike other shaving-related fundraisers this month, Everett explained that Home Base requires a minimum $100 from officers to be able to start growing out their facial hair, rather than just $25.
The department chose this particular program because of the higher amount of money it is likely to raise. Everett said Lancaster has a set goal of raising at least $500, though he said he hopes that number can be doubled.
Officers are able to make a donation on their own, but donations can also be made to Home Base under the name of the Lancaster Police Department. A link to Home Base's donation website can be found on the police department's Facebook page, where officers will also be regularly posting updates on their facial hair cultivation.
Though it's only been a few days into November, Everett reported that scruffiness is starting to be seen throughout the department.
"I'm probably the front-runner in that category," he said. "I think the officers are really looking forward to a month off."
Follow Peter Jasinski on Twitter @PeterJasinski53.
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