North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Arlington Police participate in No-Shave November


Photo courtesy of the city of Arlington

Members of the Arlington Police Department sporting their beards toward the end of No-Shave November. From left, Police Chief Jonathan Ventura, Deputy Chief of Police Dan Cone, officer Mike Gilbert, Sergeant Rory Bolter and officer Pen Cook.

Many officers in the Arlington Police Department are growing their beards out this November in support of men's health and No-Shave November.

This is the first time the department is participating in the event.

No-Shave November is a no-shave month where men are meant to donate the money they would normally spend on grooming to men's health organizations.

The department has participated in Movember (growing moustaches in support of men's health) before, but this is the first year the department has allowed the officers to grow a full beard.

"This is the first year we've done the pink badges, to help raise awareness for breast cancer, so some of the guys here came to see if we could No-Shave November," said Arlington Police Chief Jonathan Ventura. "And I said, 'well, we're not going to just do it for fun, everyone has to be in it for a good cause, for a reason.'"

In addition to growing their beards, Arlington police officers have raised about $700 to support men's health organizations.

The beards also help bring awareness to men's health issues as well.

"Now, when the guys are in the field they're getting questions from the public about the beards and they can talk about men's health issues," said Ventura.

The event is also just fun and memorable for many of the police officers, said Ventura, and many of the police officers see it as a morale boost.

Because the department doesn't normally allow beards, this is the first year that many police officers have been able to grow a beard in the department.

"It's interesting because this is the first time I've been able to grow a beard in the last 16 years and I didn't realize my beard had gone gray," he said.

At the beginning, the only thing that gave Ventura pause is how the beards would represent the department.

"The only potential for negative I was worried about was that it is pushing on the boundary of a normal police officer look," he said, "but I haven't really heard any negative opinions from the public."

He even recalls people from the community joking with him about the beard he was growing.

"It was early on in the month and I went to a community meeting and one of the residents there asked me I had just rolled out of bed," Ventura said.

Ventura said this may be something the Arlington police officers would like to continue and he is open for continuing next year as well.

"As long as it's for a good cause and it's helping the morale around here, then I can see it continuing," he said.


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