Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts usually runs a clean-cut crew, but this month the officers are looking a little scruffy.
The department is again participating in No Shave November to raise awareness and money for the fight against cancer.
“Pretty much everyone is sporting some kind of hair if they can grow it,” Roberts said.
Police Sgt. Paul Wolverton is helping coordinate the effort. He said last year the department joined the nationwide No Shave November campaign.
“Everybody had a good time and it was a great cause to serve, but this year we wanted to do something more local,” he said.
Donations from this year’s effort are going to the local chapter of the American Cancer Society and the Anson Fairbank family of Pendleton. Matt and Adrienne Fairbank have a 2-year-old son, Anson, who had leukemia.
“We just think it’s so amazing that they chose Anson and his fight with leukemia,” said Adrienne Fairbank.
Her son completed 29 days of treatment, and a recent bone marrow test revealed his body was cancer free. Adrienne said the doctor’s expected that result, and while it is good news, Anson’s leukemia has a pattern of recurring. Monday evening they arrived in Portland for Anson’s weekly doctor’s appointment, she said, and he will continue on the path of treatment for three years.
She also said the outpouring the Pendleton community has shown for her son feels overwhelming.
Police assistant Dianna Melton helped select the Cancer Society branch and the Fairbank family. She said the department’s main fundraiser is Friday, Dec. 1, 5-8 p.m., at the Hamley Steakhouse, where officers will shuck their patrol blues and wait tables.
“I think right now we’re going to have a ton of officers,” she said.
She also said the Hamley staff was “awesome” for their willingness to give up their tips for the causes, and DG Gifts & Screen Printing, Pendleton, is donating T-shirts for the event.
Wolverton said he did not have figures in front of him but recalled the department last November raised around $5,000, and the night of waiting tables brought in around $1,200 alone. All of the tips and donations, he said, go to the Cancer Society and Anson Strong.
Wolverton, like most in Pendleton’s uniform, is typically clean-shaven. Working over the past few days, he said, several people he encountered commented or asked him about the beard he is sprouting.
“Most agencies even now-a-days have a shave policy and regulations on grooming, and Pendleton is no different,” he said.
Cancer is the disease that touches everyone’s lives in some way, he said, and the whiskers work as a catalyst to start conversations about cancer and what people can do to donate. No Shave November, he said, is another way for Pendleton police to help the community.
To find out more about No Shave November or to donate, visit the Pendleton Police Department’s website at ppd.pendleton.or.us .