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This year, Hillsdale City Police are extending their beards of No Shave November to Don’t Shave December in support of Child Abuse Pre­vention and Awareness, or CAPA, a local orga­ni­zation ded­i­cated to pro­tecting the well­being of Hillsdale’s children.

(left to right) Officer Dusty Zim­merman and Sgt. Steven Pratt show off their beards. Lillian Quinones | Col­legian

“We are offi­cially in our second year of par­tic­i­pating in No Shave November and it’s all about donating money to CAPA so that we can pass it on this time of year,” Chief Police Officer Scott Hephner said.

To for­mally par­tic­ipate in No Shave November, male police officers must pay a fee to grow a beard and female officers are encouraged to donate. Every year the police department must receive approval from the city council to waive their no-facial hair policy. Recently it was decided their fundraising cam­paign for CAPA would con­tinue into the month of December.

With the mission of elim­i­nating child abuse and neglect in Hillsdale County, CAPA is the primary non-profit which the police department sup­ports and Hephner sits on its Board of Directors.

“There is a good mutual rela­tionship between CAPA and the Police Department to protect Hillsdale’s youth. They have sup­ported CAPA not only with No Shave November but also by making sure runners and bikers are safe in CAPA’s annual Magic Ride and Super Hero 5K Run/Walk,” Madeleine Ahlbrecht said, a Hillsdale College student who started vol­un­teering for CAPA in January.

“Our phi­losophy is that if we can prevent children from being injured and neglected now, the goal is that our ser­vices won’t be needed in the future,” Sergeant Steve Pratt said.

With the news that he can keep his beard through the month of December, Pratt has mixed feelings toward his facial hair.

“It’s hor­ribly itchy, and I’m old so a lot of it’s grey. But I like it,” Pratt said. “Also, I think it’s unlucky to shave and you’ll never find a more super­sti­tious bunch than policeman.”

Pratt’s col­league, Officer Dusky Zim­merman described his hairless chin as a “work in progress,” to which Pratt chimed in, “Let’s just say that his lack of a beard doesn’t hinder his char­i­table donation.”

Setting his ambi­tions high for Don’t Shave December, Pratt said, “I’m going to try and get some braids.”