Some members of the Watertown Police will be looking a bit scruffier in November, but they are doing it for a good cause.
The Police Department has joined more than a dozen other law enforcement agencies in “No Shave November,” which benefits Home Base. This is a joint effort of the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program which helps veterans and their families heal from the invisible wounds of war, such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and related conditions.
The Home Base program helps not just the veterans, but also their families, said Watertown Police Officer Mendez said, because the effects of PTSD and TBI do not just impact veterans.
The Watertown Police Department has a no beards policy. When officers get some time off, they often grow a goatee or beard, but shave it off when they return to duty, so Mendez thought it would be popular.
In prior years, some officers have participated in Movember, where they can grow mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health issues, but Officer Raul Mendez said the chance to grow a beard proved more popular.
“One or two guys participated (in Movember), and a lot of others donated,” Mendez said. “This year I was approached by another officer who said the MBTA started No Shave November for veterans.”
So far, 25 officers have signed up, and each will donate at least $100 to Home Base, Mendez said.
“They have to be clean shaven Nov. 1 and clean shaven Dec. 1, but they have the entire month to grow what they can,” Mendez said.
The department would not be able to participate, however, without the blessing of Police Chief Michael Lawn.
“I asked the chief, and he said ‘We’re in!'” Mendez said
Last year, No Shave November raised $15,000 for Home Base.
For more information about Home Base or to make a donation, please visit http://www.homebase.org.