Cambridge Police beards featured on “Today”

CAMBRIDGE — Many of the usually clean-shaven officers in the Cambridge Police Department drew some attention when they grew beards in November including a picture featured on the “Today” show.

Dorchester Banner/Courtesy of “Today”
Members of the Cambridge Police Department and their No-Shave November beards were featured Dec. 1 on the “Today” show. From left are Lt. Louis Nichols, Chief Daniel Dvorak, Lt. Justin Todd and Lt. Shane Hinson.

Out of 48 officers in the department, 20 participated in the No-Shave November fundraiser. No-Shave November’s goal is to grow cancer awareness by embracing hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. Cambridge Police Chief Daniel Dvorak saw another police department in Laurel, Md., was raising funds for cancer awareness and asked his boss, City Manager Sanrda Tripp-Jones, if his department could to the same. Most police are allowed to maintain a clean, crisp mustache, but no other facial hair. Members of the Maryland State Police, for example, aren’t allowed to grow facial hair at all.

“We decided to grow beards for the month and raise some money,” Chief Dvorak said. “People may not realize that since we’re not allowed to have beards in law enforcement, some of us never have had beards. … It was lots of fun, but maybe not all of us liked it (because of itchy faces).”

Chief Dvorak himself had never grown a beard. He joined the Navy Reserves while he was still in high school and became a police officer immediately after leaving the Navy.

Dorchester Banner/Courtesy of CPD
Members of the Cambridge Police Department and their No-Shave November beards were featured Dec. 1 on the “Today” show. From left are Lt. Louis Nichols, Chief Daniel Dvorak, Lt. Justin Todd and Lt. Shane Hinson.

“In order to participate, I asked officers to either donate money or have others donate on their behalf,” Chief Dvorak said. Using the Grow & Give to End Prostate Cancer website, the police department and others who participated, raised $1,290, exceeding CPD’s goal.
Chief Dvorak said he was happy that people noticed.

“The thing that I’m most excited about with this is a lot of people asked us what we were doing. That’s exactly what I wanted,” the chief said while mentioning that he encourages the public to communicate with his officers. “Day-to-day work is very hard. They have a stressful job. They work long hours and get into situations a normal person doesn’t usually get into. So being able to grow a beard is a special thing.”

Dorchester County State’s Attorney William Jones, pictured Dec. 1, participated in No-Shave November.

Members of the “Today” show including Al Roker, Matt Lauer and Carson Daly also grew beards for No-Shave November. Show producers asked people who were growing beards for a cause to submit their photos through Twitter using the hashtag #NoShaveTODAY. Chief Dvorak submitted a photo and it was featured on the Dec. 1 edition of the show. The chief found out his photo was on the show when he received a call from his barber in Rhode Island where he used to work.

Also on Dec. 1, many of the officers and others who grew beards gathered to celebrate their fundraising success and awards were given for best overall beard, thickest beard and best attempt.

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