Bergen County PBA Locals forego razor’s edge to help fight childhood cancer

Most law enforcement officers know about the protocol to be clean-shaven. But recently, several Locals from Bergen County asked for an exception to the rule for a very special reason.

Members of Ho-Ho-Kus Local 353, Upper Saddle River Local 218, Allendale-Waldwick Local 217, Wyckoff Local 261, Saddle River Local 348, Franklin Lakes Local 150, Ridgewood Local 20, Oakland Local 164, Midland Park Local 79, Montvale Local 303, Ramsey Local 155, Mahwah Local 143, Elmwood Park Local 185, Garfield Local 46 and Pascack Valley Local 206 came together for the Borough of Beards project raising money for families affected by childhood cancer.

Local 218 President Anthony Pulizzano worked with members from Local 353 to create the fundraiser in 2022 and continued it this year. In total, the 15 departments raised $71,000 for two organizations: Rare is Beautiful, which supports those with Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome, and the Lilabean Foundation, which focuses on pediatric brain cancer.

Beyond getting to support families in need, Pulizzano said the project was a chance to literally let their hair down.

“For us to not have to shave and get to grow a neatly trimmed beard is a great thing for us,” he added.

Each department has the chance during No-Shave November to make a difference on their own. But with the Borough of Beards, it’s like every character in the Marvel Universe coming together as one to fight childhood cancer.

“It’s an easy sell to the other departments to band together to raise a larger sum of money than each department raising a couple of thousand on their own,” Pulizzano said.