Officers and deputies with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, the Floyd County Police Department, the Rome Police Department and the Floyd County Prison are not allowed to sport facial hair.
But during the months of November and December, employees of all of the departments are allowed to grow goatees to raise money for Christmas with Santa Cops, a program that pairs local law enforcement officers with less fortunate children who they take shopping at a local department store.
The Coosa Valley Fraternal Order of Police sponsors Christmas with Santa Cops. Last year about 60 children shopped with the officers, according to Ghee Wilson, FOP president.
Police officers pay $20 a month to be able to wear their goatee for the months of November and December, said Rome Police Chief Elaine Snow.
This is the second year for the program, which raised almost $3,000 last year, Wilson said. “This has been one of the best fundraisers,” Wilson said. “A lot of officers enjoy having the facial hair, and it a gives them the opportunity to grow a beard and help others. We couldn’t do it without all the support of Chief Snow, Chief Shiflett, Sheriff Burkhalter and Warden Chandler.”
The date for the Christmas with Santa Cops program will be announced at a later date.
The children will be selected near the Thanksgiving holiday and are picked by area school counselors, Wilson said.