University Police Department grows goatees for homeless

Emily Niman, Staff Writer

Many of SUNY Buffalo State’s University Police Department officers are sporting more facial hair than their standard for the month of November.

UPD is participating in their own version of No-Shave-November (Movember) — growing goatees to raise money for the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Hope Center. For the month of November, UPD officers are given an opportunity to grow more facial hair than is normally allowed.

Standard facial hair for officers is normally limited to just a mustache. In exchange for a donation to their cause, officers are allowed to grow goatees.

The Matt Urban Hope Center is an organization in Buffalo which focuses on homelessness and families in need. Their mission statement is to “provide programs that enhance the quality of life, preserve neighborhoods, and encourage economic development.” They achieve this by providing more than food and a place to rest.

The Hope Center’s website lists some of the ways they assist the community, stating “The Matt Urban Hope Center responds to the needs of the community by hosting family-focused events, informative workshops, free tax preparation, benefits screening, housing and job assistance.”

This cause is important to UPD because there are many students and people that are homeless or in need on and around Buffalo State’s campus. When officers encounter such individuals, they often refer them to the Matt Urban Hope Center.

“A larger percentage of our job is dealing with good people. While yes, we do make arrests and deal with bad situations, we also do a lot of things that don’t get talked about as much. Helping students in need is important to us,” UPD Officer Steven Cahoon said.

This is the third year that UPD has grown goatees for charity. In the past two years, they have raised over $1,000 each year. They have currently raised $900 and are projected to raise over $1,000 by the end of the month.

Junior criminal justice and psychology major Edwin Delvalle voiced his opinion on the event

“When it comes to minorities, police officers are looked upon negatively. I am from a minority and personally think it is time to stop shining light on the bad and expose the good. There are good police officers too. Let’s continue to grow hair, donate money, and make a change,” Delvalle said.

Students and faculty are invited to participate in the event. You can stop by the UPD office and donate or simply grow your facial hair in solidarity for the cause.

“This may not be a traditional way of helping the homeless, but anything that helps and draws attention to the cause is great.” Jeff Floss, a Graduate student majoring in English, said.

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