During the month of November, cadets from Temple's Law Enforcement Training Center, located at the Ambler Campus, will forego their razors to show support for cancer patients bravely undertaking chemotherapy treatments.
"No Shave November," which began in 2009, has become an important tradition with many law enforcement agencies throughout the country, according to Chris Willard, Assistant Director of the Temple Law Enforcement Training Center, Assistant Director of the Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy and Director of the Temple University Police Academy. Temple's Law Enforcement Training Center has been participating in No Shave November since 2018, she said.
"No Shave November was a grassroots initiative. It started with family members looking for a way to physically show their support for someone going through chemo," she said. "They decided to stop shaving to show solidarity with their friend or loved one who, because of their treatments, had lost their hair."
Over the years, Willard said, law enforcement agencies adopted No Shave November as their own.
"When you're in law enforcement, you are usually not allowed to have facial hair. The agencies decided that for the month of November, participants were allowed to grow out their beards to show support for cancer patients," she said. "Some agencies also collect funds for cancer research charities as well."
The premise behind the activity, Willard said, is "to raise money for cancer research as well as bring awareness to the fight that one in three Americans will endure during their lifetime."
"As long as a donation was made on behalf of the class, everyone could participate. Our policy is that cadets have no facial hair, no mustaches, no beards, no goatees, no sideburns," she said. "We have had several class members who have family members that are cancer survivors; they jump at the chance to participate in No Shave November."
Beyond showing their support for cancer patients and survivors, traditions like No Shave November help the cadets connect with the law enforcement community, Willard said.
"It helps them feel one step closer to their chosen profession. It also promotes camaraderie within the class. It lets them, and us as instructors, relax a little bit — there's definitely some friendly ribbing — during what is a very intense process," she said. "We hope that the Temple Ambler community will join us in supporting the cadets as well as the cancer fighters in our community."
For more information about ways to participate and support the cadets, contact Temple University Police Academy Chief Chris Willard at firstname.lastname@example.org.