There are some hairy deputies driving around Torrance County these days, but don’t be alarmed.
They are just part of the Torrance County Sheriff’s Office “No Shave November” fund-raising event to help two teenagers who were seriously injured in an auto accident in July.
“It was an idea I had after I saw it several years ago in another law enforcement agency,” said Undersheriff Stephanie Reynolds. “I thought it would be good to go to our community and to help members who are hurting.”
The way it works is area residents can visit the various social media outlets for the department, where photos of bearded deputies are shown, then vote for their favorite and make a donation, she said.
For the fundraising aspect, the department is partnering with the Memorial of Perpetual Tears, which will be accepting cash and check donations, Reynolds said.
“I think it is really important and a lot of the time, we’re not seen as helping or giving back,” Reynolds said. “It is really important to see that we are concerned about the members of our community.”
No-Shave November began as a formal and ongoing annual occurrence in 2009 after a Chicago family lost their father to colon cancer several years prior. The family saw it as an opportunity to raise money for charity and raise awareness about cancer.
While the Torrance County department is not fundraising specifically for cancer, the move is still worthy. Reynolds said, and four deputies quickly volunteered their whiskered faces, one even risking marital bliss.
“I was ready to go, but trying to talk my wife into letting me do it was the hard thing. Not good,” Deputy Isaac Aragon said with a chuckle. “Not good. If I could grow a man’s beard, it would be a different story.”
Nevertheless, he said, the cause was just, particularly as he and fellow bearded compatriot J.P. Curran were among the first responders on the scene of the accident that killed two people.
“It was tragic,” said Aragon, who sports a rather sparse, patchy growth. “Any way we can give back to the community makes it easier to bridge the gap between people and law enforcement. This shows a true example of what community policing is all about.”
She quickly came around with the realization that it is helping those in need, he said of his wife.
Curran, sports a healthy cinnamon beard, courtesy of his Irish roots.
“I can grow a great beard,” he said. “I’m a full-blooded Irishman so it’s red and thick. I normally keep it trimmed, but for this event, I’m going to keep it true No Shave and let it go naturally.”
There were no issues in the Curran household about the facial hair.
“She loves it,” he said. “She only knows me as having a beard. She’s never seen me with a baby face.”
Given the fundraising aspect and the impact on the community, it was an easy decision to get involved.
“To help the community we live in and serve the community bridge and gap and have an understanding that it’s good everybody makes sense,” he said.