When Chief David McGill took over the helm of the Sedona Police Department earlier this year, he made several changes.
One of which was to eliminate facial hair among his officers other than a trimmed mustache. That is, until November rolled around. Movember — which was created to bring awareness to men’s health issues during the month of November — made its way to the Sedona Police Department this year as eight to 10 officers took part, all for a good cause.
“They’ve all enjoyed it — it’s just been something fun for them to do,” McGill said. “They asked if they could do it for another month but I said one was enough. I started growing a little hair but decided it wasn’t what I’m about. But for some of the younger guys, it was a novelty. I’m glad we took part in it.”
The agreement was any officer wishing to participate had to donate $25 and wear a button [donated by the Prescott Valley Police Department] that said to ask him about Movember.
They could also raise funds on their own for the cause. In addition, non-officers such as those in dispatch and records department could wear denim jeans for the month as long as they paid $5 each time they did so. This was a follow-up to October’s Pink Patch Program in which officers wore modified Sedona police patches that incorporated pink for women’s health issues, specifically breast cancer awareness.
The police department sold the same patches they wore and raised $625, which was donated. Movember has raised another $410.
“We’re just doing our part to raise funds and awareness for these great causes,” McGill said.
McGill and others agreed that any funds raised during Movember would be given to the 100 Club of Arizona.
According to the organization’s website, “Since 1968, the 100 Club has provided assistance to statewide public safety agencies, officers, firefighters, EMT/ paramedics, and their families.
The 100 Club supports all city, county, state, federal and tribal public safety agencies, fire services, probation, corrections, parole and law enforcement departments who provide for the safety of the citizens of Arizona.
Benefits and support are also extended to officers and firefighters who are called to active duty military while still employed by a qualified public safety agency. McGill said there was a bit of a competition among those growing full beards.
“There was also some ribbing to those who were having a hard time growing a very good one,” he said. “But it was all in good fun. I’m sure they will all want to do it again next year.”