Jackson police officers to grow out facial hair for toys

Jackson police officers to grow out facial hair for toys

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - It's November. That means Christmas is right around the corner.

Children gather around the Christmas tree and open presents on Christmas morning. However, some children don't get to experience that.

That's why Jackson police officers decided they were going to do something about it.

They won't shave for the month of November.

"We have a very strict facial policy here," Jackson Patrol Lieutenant Tony Henson said. "You can grow a mustache, but it's got to be neatly trimmed and at the edge of your lip. So this is a big deal for us."

The concept is simple: Don't shave and collect toys for children.

The Jackson Annual Toy Drive is something these officers try to raise awareness, funds and toys for. These toys collected will be for the children and families of Jackson for Christmas for those who are less fortunate.

"We give them toys for Christmas, but we will also have families that we sponsor. Whole families," Henson said. "We'll get it all together and officers will take it over there to somebody's Christmas morning. So when the kids get up, they've got a normal traditional type Christmas."

The facial hair these officers are growing out has many perks to it. With their hair grown out people are asking more questions. This allows the officers to talk about the toy drive, plus help build community relationships with their citizens.

"I was out walking around and somebody asked me, 'They letting you guys grow out facial hair now?'" Henson said. "Then I explained it to them. They were all excited about it and thought it was a neat idea."

Officers started growing out their facial hair and beards just three days ago. By the end of the month, their facial hair should be pretty long.

Not only do officers encourage toy donations, but they also have donated some toys and funds.

"It means the world to us," Henson said. "People don't realize that, unfortunately, we see people a lot of times at their worst. So we deal and see things a lot of people don't. So we deal with these children that needs somebody to help them."

In fact, they have already started collecting some toys and are working to get more boxes and toys wrapped up at the police station on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Toy boxes and money jugs will be spread out throughout the community, including at the Jackson Police Department, for donations.

This year the donated toys will be handed out to more than 100 children at the the Elks Lodge in Jackson.

Toys will be collected through December 7.

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