Defending the Clean Shaven, Another Smart Move By Police

Houston city officials seem willing to spend a lot of money in the face of economic hard-times to defend the police department’s ban on beards. The City Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to authorize spending up to $150,000 to defend the city in a lawsuit challenging the no-facial hair policy. Four police officers filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in November claiming the policy is discriminatory. The officers say the prohibition on beards and goatees is unfair for men who suffer a skin condition that reacts negatively to shaving. The condition can cause severe irritation, rashes and ingrown hair. “The lawsuit is pending and we have to defend ourselves,” Councilman Ron Green said. “But we’re basically saying we want new police officers, but we don’t want police officers with beards”. According to a city memo, the police department instituted the policy in 1993 so uniformed officers would look conservative and professional.
Those standing behing the lawsuit said the policy unfairly effects their earning potential, both within the department and at secondary jobs.


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