Q: How did you all come up with the “Cops with Beards” campaign?
A: Our policy states that we have to be well-groomed and cannot have facial hair except for a mustache. A few officers suggested that we pay a monthly fee to grow facial hair and give all of the proceeds to a family that needed help during whatever holiday they celebrate. Last year was our first year and it was a great success. We held the fundraiser for three months and raised over $900. We partnered with Compton Elementary to choose the family. This year, we are extending the fundraiser by a month and doing it on behalf of two families. Powder Springs Elementary will help us identify the second family.
Q: What about the women officers?
A: They can choose to participate by donating to the fundraiser just like any other officer.
Q: Did you like growing a beard?
A: Facial hair isn't really my thing. I had never had a beard, ever, until last year during this fundraiser. It hit me as a way to give back so I sucked it up. It was not the best beard in the world but I actually learned to like it. My family liked it, too.
Q: So you did like how you looked?
A: Just having a different look and a fresh new appearance was appealing to me. It was something cool and a unique experience. It just mixes it up a little bit.
Q: How did it feel to shave it off?
A: I got so used to the beard that I didn't recognize myself after I shaved. I kind of missed it and I am glad it is coming back now.
Q: Did folks in the community notice that so many of their officers had beards?
A: We would go to QuikTrip to have a cup of coffee or out on a call and people would ask us why our officers had facial hair. They are not used to seeing beards on officers. It was a great way to interact with the community and explain what the fundraiser was all about.
Q: Did any of them give you a donation?
A: We actually did get a few donations from the public.
Q: Anything else?
A: Helping families during the holidays goes hand in hand with our mission statement: to enhance the quality of life for our residents here in Powder Springs.
If you are interested in contributing to the Powder Springs Police Department’s fundraiser, you can send a check to the City of Powder Springs, 1114 Richard D. Sailors Parkway, Powder Springs, GA, 30127. Write “Cops with Beards” in the memo line.