Marion Police grow beards for a cause
MARION — Members of the Marion Police Department raised $1,300 for cancer prevention and education research at St. Jude’s Hospital by participating in “No Shave November” last month.
11 normally clean shaven officers paid half of their contributions from their own pockets, and were matched by the Marion Police Brotherhood for the other half. Other contributions towards the cause came from donations from the community.
Police Chief John Garcia joked that after working in law enforcement for over 30 years, it was a bit off-putting to see his officers grow facial hair, since it contradicts tradition, but that he is “very proud of the way that the officers have been participating in the different community events we’ve been doing.”
In October, the Police Department sold pink police patches to raise money for the Ellie Fund, a non-profit that fights breast cancer.
Now in December, Officer Alisha Crosby is organizing a toy drive to help Marion families in need for the holiday season. To donate to the toy drive, bring items to the police station at 550 Mill Street in Marion. Safety items like car seats for children are also appreciated as donations.
Garcia added that the No Shave November offered a bonding experience for his officers, especially during the early “scratchy” phase of growing a beard.
In regards to the recent drives and fundraisers, he said that since taking over as chief, one of his goals is to become “very involved in the community.”