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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.”