CCPD officers growing beards, painting nails for a cause
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove Police Department is one of the only law enforcement agencies in the area participating in the Cure Starts Now Beard It Up and Color for a Cure Campaign, growing facial hair to raise money for pediatric cancer, beating their goal of $1,000 already.
Male officers could grow out their beards while female officers could paint their nails bright and crazy colors for a cost of $30 to $50, with all money raised going to The Cure Starts Now, the largest funder of DIPG research in the world. DIPG stands for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, which is an aggressive type of a childhood cancerous tumor that forms in the brain stem. The survival rate for DIPG is low, with no cure found for this tumor currently, according to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital website.
The Cure Starts Now is “in the forefront of finding and funding a cure,” according to their website. The organization started Beard It Up and Color for the Cure Campaign, an initiative aimed at a way to fundraise with first responders. Law enforcement agencies across the nation participate, with officers paying $30 for a goatee, $50 for a full beard and $50 for bright colored nails.
Nationwide, law enforcement agencies have raised $164,638.06 of the $200,000 goal. The organizations with the most money raised are all Texas based- with the Houston Police Department leading the way with $71,712.57 raised; Brazos County Law Enforcement Agencies have raised $12,534.02; and the Texas Game Wardens with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department have raised $9,179.76.
Copperas Cove Police Department’s Public Information Officer, Sgt. Kevin Miller, said that CCPD regulations normally only allow nail polish if the colors are neutral, not bright and distracting; and facial hair is restricted to mustaches that cannot go to a quarter-inch below the lip.
“Especially with us having a lot of former military soldiers, they’re used to shaving their whole life and then they come here and they have to shave again, so some of them take this opportunity to not have to shave for one time in their life,” Miller said.
CCPD is one of the only departments around that still has regulations like this regarding facial hair, according to Miller. A search of agencies participating in the Beard It Up and Color for a Cure Campaign revealed that neither Killeen, Harker Heights, Belton or Temple police departments were participating.
This year marked the second year that Copperas Cove PD participated, with all who participated last year doing so again this year. It was Miller’s first year participating, he said.
“For me personally, it’s nice not to have to shave every day,” Miller said. “So, it’s nice and the added benefit is that it’s going to help children, and obviously in law enforcement, we like to help people, so it’s a perfect event for a lot of first responders.”
Copperas Cove PD had 20 officers participate, including two female officers who painted their nails bright colors. Some officers grew a beard and quickly shaved as the beard began to get too itchy, Miller said.
The department’s goal this year was $1,000, which they have already achieved, raising $1,177 as of press time.
“I think we will continue to participate in the event because the money goes to a worthy cause, and the officers enjoy participating in the event,” Miller said.
For those interested in finding out more information about The Cure Starts Now, visit their website at http://thecurestartsnow.org/.