FL Police, Prison Guards Want To Sport Beards, Goatees


In a growing number of South Florida police departments, officers are demanding they be allowed to grow beards, says the Miami Herald. Many major departments — including Fort Lauderdale, Miami-Dade, Miami and the Broward Sheriff’s Office — still ban most facial hair, other than mustaches. When beards are allowed, officers must follow correct procedure for growing it. Pembroke Pines says that “facial hair must be developed while on vacation or otherwise away from the Department. Members will not be permitted to maintain shabby appearances as a result of a simple failure to shave.”

The Florida Department of Corrections has a new policy banning goatees. Angry, bearded prison guards say that violates their union contract. Said Al Shopp, Florida Police Benevolent Association director, estimating the outcry at 100 calls or e-mails a day: “If you allow a beard and mustache and sideburns, why not a goatee?” The frequent change in appearances by epmployees posed a security challenge because each time an officer altered his hair style, he needed a new identification card, Shopp said he was told. Wilton Manors Chief Richard Perez sees no problems with well-trimmed facial hair. ”The times, they are a-changing,” Perez said. “There’s people out there with beards, tattoos, everything.”

Link: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/15812707.htm

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