Lincoln police skip shaving for first time

Lincoln police skip shaving for first time

Lincoln Police officers, photographed at a recent firearms training, show off their mid-month facial hair growth as part of the department’s first No Shave campaign for charity. From left: Sgt. Brad Stewart, Officer Joe Anterni, Capt. Philip Gould, Det. Kyle Wingate, Det. Rick Bousquet, Officer Brendan Legare, Officer John Sexton, Sgt. Jason Marquis, Det. Sean Gorman, Officer Chris Hannon, Officer Keith Feather and Officer Matt Paradis.

LINCOLN – Members of the Lincoln Police Department are sporting facial hair for the first time ever, supporting a local charity that helps veterans and their families.

This November, officers can donate $50, matched by the police union IBPO Local 435, to skirt the customary restrictions on facial hair and forgo shaving – beard or mustache – to evoke conversation, raise awareness and break the stigmas associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries and other invisible wounds veterans carry.

For many officers on the force, it’s the first time they’ve ever had the opportunity to grow their facial hair – many having joined the Lincoln Police Department after having served in the military.

Female officers can get creative, painting their nails red, white and blue, or sporting a braid or a Home Base bracelet or pin.

The officers’ donations support the 5th annual Home Base No Shave Campaign, put on by the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital.

The program aims to help veterans and their families impacted by PTSD, TBI and other wounds associated with their time in the service.

One in three veterans suffer from such invisible wounds; according to Home Base, nearly 83 percent of service members receive care for a visible wound of war, but less than half seek care for invisible injuries.

The Home Base program works to provide clinical care and support for veterans suffering from PTSD, TBIs, anxiety, depression, co-occurring substance use disorder, family relationship challenges and other issues associated with military service.

“Many of our officers are veterans, so this organization hits close to home,” said Capt. Philip Gould.

Since its inception, the Boston-based nonprofit has helped more than 21,000 veterans and family members and trained 73,000 clinicians, educators, first responders and community members at no cost.

Individuals and companies who would like to join the effort can make a donation on Lincoln’s fundraising page (https://because.massgeneral.org/fundraiser/2405283 ) or write a check to Home Base and turn it in to the Lincoln Police Department (Attn: Maureen Wade, 125 Nasua St., Ste. 540, Boston, Mass. 02114).

On Dec. 4, Lincoln officers and other participating first responders from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Florida will head to Fenway Park for a shave-off event.

Participating departments in R.I. include Bristol, Coventry, Lincoln, Narragansett, Pawtucket, Portsmouth and Smithfield.

Lincoln has raised more than $1,300 so far.