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December 12. 2013 9:49PM

Hooksett police beards serve a good cause

HOOKSETT — To help raise money for the Hooksett Family Services Department while at the same time enjoying the brief freedom to grow facial hair beyond well-groomed mustaches, more than 10 Hooksett police officers are growing beards this month.

Sgt. Janet Bouchard said she saw other departments doing similar things and thought that it would be a good idea for members Hooksett Police Association to take part in.

Officers pay $20 to participate and be a member of the police association. All of the money raised will go to the Family Services Department, which Bouchard said always needs cash on hand to help needy families buy things like toiletries.

Bouchard said the association has had a hard time getting residents and businesses to participate in the fundraiser, in part, because of the difficulty in getting the word out.

“We don’t solicit for money while we are on duty. However, if someone were to ask anyone in the department about it, we are more than willing to discuss it,” Bouchard said.

For some members of the department, the ability to grow a beard came as a welcome relief. Officer Paul Mueller said that he loves growing a beard and misses having one.

“It’s all for a great cause, and it helps my family save money on razors, which means a better Christmas,” he joked.

Officer David Scarpino said that while not as into growing a beard as Mueller, he participated because it was both a good cause and sounded like fun.

Bouchard said that Decem-Beard is part of the effort of the Police Association to become a larger part of the community. “We just recreated the association last year because we wanted to be more involved in the community. We had a lot of officers who did volunteer work, but we weren’t operating as an organized unit.”

She added that by participating and initiating community events, it will help residents see the Police Department in a more positive light.

“We feel that a lot of times when someone needs a police officer it is for a negative reason. We want the community to be able to see us in a positive manner,” Bouchard said.

bklein@newstote.com


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