KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – In case you haven’t noticed, a number of KPD’s finest are letting their beards grow.
For the second consecutive year, The Knoxville Police Department is taking part in No-Shave November. However, unlike the traditional single month, KPD is stretching their No-Shave time period to cover three months: October, November and December.
“We haven’t had beards since the 50s and 60s I think,” says Lieutenant Doug Stiles. “When you’re 50 years old and you haven’t had one since you were 19, it’s a big deal to have a beard.”
Lt. Stiles is credited with bringing the No-Shave idea to KPD Chief Eve Thomas in 2018.
“She was open to it, and we raised about – I think $9,000 or so last year,” he said.
A news release from KPD in September stated its agency’s No-Shave efforts raised more than $11,000 last year for its November/December beard-growth.
To take part in No-Shave, officers must make a donation of at least $25. This year, the department, along with stretching the program to a three month fundraiser, has also expanded the causes that it will benefit.
“So we were able to start in October. The whole month was for breast cancer research,” says Stiles, “November will be split for multiple myeloma and prostate.” Lieutenant Stiles goes on to add that the dollars raised in December will go Children’s Hospital.
The idea to split the charitable giving over a 3-month stretch was originally proposed by Chief Thomas:
- October – During OctoBeard, all funds raised will benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation,
- November – the funds collected during No Shave November will be divided between the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
- December – In Triple-Down December, or DecemBeard, all funds will go to the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.
As far as the response, Stiles says a number of the officers, young and old, have embraced the no-shave effort.
“So this place is like high school at times because you have the younger guys coming up and doing the Santa Claus jokes with us older fellas with the white beards. You have some competition on who looks better, but in the end – all the folks I work with are big on helping folks and raising that money. I think they are quite proud.”