September 26, 2018
Politics & Opinion
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Participating In Awareness Months

Sheriff Ron Bateman
Sheriff Ron Bateman's picture
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November 3, 2017

I have been the sheriff of Anne Arundel County for more than 11 years and have seen firsthand the effects cancer has had on my law enforcement family. My staff and their families have endured the rigors of chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries and the agony that follows a cancer diagnosis. Our office has helped support deputies, their spouses and family members who have fought their own battles against breast cancer, brain cancer and other types of this awful disease. This is why I am so proud to announce our participation in this year’s No Shave November.

This year’s campaign will support programs at Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Deputies had until October 31 to register. The rules are simple: Put down your razor, forget about the grooming policy and grow a beard. We have 16 deputies who registered to be a “deputy dog” for the month of November. We raised $690 as of late October and hoped to reach our goal of $1,000 by November 1 (as of the writing of this column, November was yet to begin). We are going to take before, during and after pictures to track our progress and find our winner of the “sweetest beard.” Be on the lookout in early November for the first round of pictures. You can track our progress on the “Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office” Facebook page.

We are off to a great start in joining the fight against all types of cancer. In support of breast cancer, we went pink for the month of October. We painted walls and jail cells pink, authorized pink undershirts for wear under our uniforms and sold pink K9 shirts, all in support of breast cancer research. We took a staff photo in the ceremonial courtroom, all decked out in our pink shirts. The response from people is great when they see our pink shirts. The amount of conversation we encounter from citizens from wearing the pink is overwhelming. Everyone has a story to tell about how they have been affected by cancer.

The website describes No Shave November as a month-long journey to forgo shaving to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness. My goal is just that. When you encounter a deputy in uniform or in the courthouse, don’t be scared of his long, furry beard (or short and trimmed for those going for our sweetest beard title). Call them “mountain man” or another funny term; we can handle it.

I have always required my deputies to report to work clean-shaven. It’s always been that way in police work for my 30-plus years on the job. I had to really think hard when I was approached by a sergeant a few years back. The sergeant had just come off a three-week warrant detail with other fugitive units and requested our plain-clothes deputy be granted a waiver to not shave. I was impressed by the sergeant’s logic and granted the no-shave request for plain-clothes deputies. That is why this is such a unique opportunity for my deputies. Across the country, law enforcement agencies are participating in their own No Shave November campaigns. The measure of success from agency to agency varies and not just based on the money raised (every dollar counts). The skirting of the shaving policy has had a positive effect on morale in many agencies, and I think I’m going to see that be another positive aspect of our participation. If you want to track our progress or make a donation, go to and look up Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office. We are proud to join the many law enforcement agencies across the country who, like us, are dropping their strict grooming policy and letting it all grow out for No Shave November.

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