Hairy Five-0: UKPD is participating in No-Shave November


The UKPD is participating in No-Shave November to raise money for the UK Markey Cancer Center. Five of the 52 participants are, from left to right, Captain Kevin Franklin, Major Nathan Brown, Lieutenant Robert Tuner, Captain Bill Webb, and Security Officer Brody Schmeing. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Kaitlyn Skovran

When November comes to mind, most people think of turkey and Black Friday, but not so much about cancer. So during a time focused on giving, the UK Police Department is using November as a way to give back in a new way: Growing out their beards.

The UKPD is participating in No-Shave November to raise money for the UK Markey Cancer Center. Currently, 33 police officers, 17 security officers and two telecommunications officers have signed up to ditch their shaving cream and razors for the rest of the month.

UK Chief of Police Joe Monroe said this is the first year the department has participated in No-Shave November. The current UKPD policy about facial hair says officers cannot have beards, but Monroe said he decided to change that for the month and have some fun.

Members of UKPD are going to be allowed to grow out their beards (or leg and armpit hair), but the officer has to donate $50 for men’s cancer research, which will be collected and presented to the cancer center at the end of the month.

Some of the officers have created GoFundMe accounts to encourage others to donate towards men’s cancer research, as well. Monroe said he believes they will reach more than $1,000 before the month is over. Currently, the total of some of the combined GoFundMe pages has almost reached $400.

President and CEO of The Markey Cancer Foundation Michael Delzotti said UKPD does amazing things every day and the officers’ effort is just one more way they go above and beyond their jobs.

One in two men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes, which is why their efforts for No-Shave November will help to raise awareness about early detection and early treatment for prostate cancer, which kills more than 26,000 men a year in the US, Delzotti said.

Monroe said it is part of his overall mission to stay involved in the community and give back, as well as being police officers. With a lot of young officers on the force, Monroe said he wants to educate them, as well as having them stay involved in the community and to give back.

“That’s what being a police officer is about, being involved in more than just law enforcement. You gotta look at the bigger picture of thing. We do a lot of things that a lot of people don’t know about behind the scenes,” Monroe said.

The best hope a cancer patient has is good research, and that research requires a large investment of research money each year, which is what the UKPD’s fundraising money will go to, according to Delzotti.

“The Markey Cancer Center was not only created with a profound act of philanthropy but it has been advanced to number one status because of continuing philanthropic support.  Our director, Mark Evers, MD, has a vision for Markey so that it will grow to meet the needs of the people of Kentucky, the state with the worst cancer rates in The Union,” Delzotti said.

Delzotti said he hopes the partnership will grow each year and be a partner in the fight against prostate cancer.