After Whiskery Police Fundraiser, Razors Return

Officer Elias Giron shaves off his “No-Shave November’’ whiskers last week, as South Pas police wrapped up their fundraiser for cancer awareness and research. Photo by Henk Friezer

They grew beards to grow awareness about cancer, and to raise funds to support prevention, research and education. But now South Pasadena police officers are, for the most part, back to their familiar clean-shaven selves.

“No-Shave November” wrapped up last week with South Pas officers breaking out their razors, adhering once again to the department’s no-beard policy.

But during November, Chief Joe Ortiz allowed the whiskers — including his own — to sprout for a good cause.

Ortiz OK’d officers growing their facial hair and, instead of spending money on grooming for the month, making a minimum $25 donation to No-Shave November, a web-based, non-profit organization that sends the funds raised to the Prevent Cancer Foundation, a group called Fight Colorectal Cancer, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Officers had to lose the beards as of Dec. 1. But at least one officer kept some of that November facial foliage.

“I kept the mustache,’’ said Sgt. Robert Bartl. “It’s just a different look, I thought I’d try it.

“My grandfather, my father and my uncle all were in law enforcement, and they all had mustaches, so I thought I’d keep up the family tradition.”

South Pas PD grooming standards specify that sideburns can grow no lower than the bottom of the earlobe, and that mustaches can go no lower than where the lips meet at the sides of the mouth — and no beards allowed.