HELENA - This month things might get a little hairy. The police department started a program where officers can voluntarily chip in a monetary donation in exchange for letting their beards grow out.
Officers are having the chance to grow their beards out, by simply donating $20 once a month. The program will run now through February.
This is the first year the police department has done anything like this and is hoping to continue it for years to come. They are only a couple weeks in, and Corporal Casey says it’s been a great conversation starter.
"It's a little bit out of the ordinary for citizens to see us with full beards,” says Corporal Nathan Casey. “It comes up in conversations on calls. We are able to talk to them about how we’re able to give back to the community and it seems to be very well received so far."
Right now, 17 officers are participating in the hairy adventure, and four Helena charities will benefit. This month the police department presented the Friendship Center with a $500 dollar check to support the critical work they do in the community to support survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. The other three charities have not yet been named but will be granted a check during their month.
"Every little bit of money helps these non-profit organizations move forward with their mission,” says Berkley Conrad, Sergeant with the Helena Police Department. “It helps us build that relationship with them. So, it's our little part and our little way of saying thank you to these non-profits."