Scruffy Bradley University Police Department officers gathered in the Michel Student Center with students Wednesday in order to raise money for the Special Olympics of Illinois.
The officers spent the past month grooming and growing out their beards as they came together with members of the Interfraternity Council and National Pan-Hellenic Council to participate in No Shave November.
“This is the first time that the Bradley [University] Police Department and the frats ever did anything jointly together, a fundraiser like this,” Officer Shane Young said. “It was about rapport building, reaching out to the community and bringing us both together. We all wanted to do it for a great cause, so our donations are going to the Special Olympics of Illinois.”
BUPD officers rounded out their beard-growing endeavors during their monthly Coffee with a Cop event, where students were invited to come and spend time getting to know the officers over coffee and donuts. This month, the participating students and Bradley community members were asked to vote on the officer with the best beard.
“We were able to get NPHC and IFC, and we all collaborated, all of the fraternities across campus, with the police department to grow our donations,” Young said.
For the month of November, Chief Brian Joschko suspended BUPD’s no-beard policy so officers could participate in the event.
“It has really been cool because typically, we have strict guidelines that we can only wear a mustache, and there is a lot of stipulations that it has to be groomed, it can’t be past the corners [of the mouth],” Young said. “So this is a great experience for us to kind of grow [our beards] out. We have had a lot of fun with it.”
Officers and fraternity members collected donations throughout the month and during the event and BUPD presented a check of $1,500 to the Special Olympics, which was represented by athletes and their families, at the event.
After the check was presented, Joschko was awarded the title of “Best Beard.”
Joschko said the officers had fun growing out their beards for the past month, but what was even more exciting for BUPD was being able to raise money for a great cause.
“It’s been a lot of fun for the officers, but really, I think more importantly it’s been really rewarding,” Joschko said. “To do something for such a wonderful cause, to give back to the community and to partner with the Special Olympics of Illinois has just been fantastic.”