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Police Departments Participate in ‘No-Shave November’ for Charity

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. -- In some parts of Luzerne County, you may see something different about police officers out on patrol.

Officers with the Wilkes-Barre Police Department report for duty in uniform complete with their badge, belt, and something else that's not usually protocol.

"You're going to notice our officers this month have grown facial hair. We're participating in something called 'No-Shave November.' What's involved with that is our officers donate $50 to not shave for the month," said Ofc. Kirk Merchel.

The Kingston Police Department has joined Wilkes-Barre in the campaign, together raising $3,400 dollars for the Ronald McDonald House and the Wyoming Valley Children's Association.

"That's the bottom line. We care about the community and we're always here to help, so this program specifically for children, is one that I was really excited to get involved in," said Kingston Police Chief Richard Kotchik.

Officers tell Newswatch 16 the act of charity provides a little fun, too.

"It's just something that's just a little more relaxing. These guys are happy to be growing the beards and you know everybody pokes fun at everybody for having little salt and pepper in the face," said Ofc. Merchel.

"Well, Santa Claus over here has been the talk of the department," laughed the chief, joking with Ofc. Tom Paratore.

Kingston will continue the charity fundraiser in December, but the money will go to a special member of the community.

"Our program for that part is going to go toward a child here in Kingston who is in the Philadelphia Children's Hospital with an illness, a serious illness, and our donation is going to go to the family," Kotchik said.

The Wilkes-Barre Police Department will also continue the No-Shave November campaign into December and raise money for Toys for Tots.

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