Chief James Avens is suspending the department’s grooming policy as it participates in what he is calling Let it Grow for Cancer in which funds will be donated locally.
Part of the effort includes a program on November 18 at Weldon Elementary School in which two speakers will discuss, colon cancer, prostate cancer and heart disease.
The program will feature Dr. Veronica Carlisle of UNC who will speak on colon cancer and Dr. Isaac Miller of Halifax Medical Specialists who will discuss prostate health and heart disease. The program will be from 9 a.m.to noon.
(A flyer with specifics and sponsors is included as an attachment at the end of the story)
Last year the department participated in No Shave November but Avens found the money raised was sent out of state and there was no way to show whether local efforts were supported.
“This year the police department decided to take the initiative again and created our own by naming it Let it Grow for Cancer, Growing Awareness for Men in efforts of growing our hair, which many cancer patients lose during the process of chemo and radiation treatment.”
Each officer will participate and donate to the cause. “In return for participating our grooming policy will be on hold in an effort to generate conversation with other men to get wellness checks.”
The public may donate to the effort, Avens said. “The funds raised will support cancer prevention, research, and education for men which will be donated locally this year.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the leading cause of cancer death among men is lung cancer at 52 percent, prostate cancer at 19.1 percent, colorectal cancer at 16.9 percent and liver cancer at 9.6 percent.
For Avens the cause is personal. “I have two close friends in their early to mid 40's who are battling cancer along with several male family members who have passed from cancer related death. Cancer has affected many of us personally or through someone we know.”