Students give Rochester PD close cut after No Shave November

By Georgia Sparling | Nov 30, 2016
Photo by: Georgia Sparling Officer Jason Denham gets his beard shaved by student Jessica Page.

Rochester — There was no question of who grew it best by the end of the Rochester Police Department's No Shave November.

As he settled into a salon chair in the Old Colony cosmetology department to get his beard shaved, Officer Nathan Valente joked of his abundant facial growth, “It's a blessing and a curse.”

Valente came up with the idea for participating in No Shave November to raise money for Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital program that helps the military and their families with combat-related issues.

Police Chief Paul Magee said participating was a “no brainer” with three military men in the department.

To join the campaign, officers donated $100 toward the cause, and of course, got to forego shaving for the month in the hopes of raising money for Home Base in the community.

Magee, Valente, Jason Denham, Rob Nordahl, Alex Malo and Scott Smith signed up, using their stubble as a conversation starter to talk about Home Base.

And it worked. As of Wednesday, the department had collected $1,500 in donations.

“I'd hoped for $1,000 for the first [year],” Magee said. “We definitely exceeded that.”

On the last day of the month, though, it was time to nix the beards, and Magee couldn't think of a better place than Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School to do it.

Magee said it's important to be a positive presence at the school.

“I think it's good for the kids, it's good for the school.”

The Rochester PD has benefited from the many services the school provides to the community.

“Almost every department in the school has assisted the [police] department in some way,” said the chief.

The cosmetology department isn't usually on that list, but it was on Wednesday.

The officers declined mani-pedis, but the officers had a good time getting their hair done.

As student Kirsten Galas outfitted Valente with a leopard printed cutting cape, he said, “Oh yeah, that suits me.”

Valente's thick beard, attributed to his Portuguese DNA, required a bit of extra attention and a strong razor.

“These are the same ones they use on the alpaca,” he said.

In another area of the salon, Magee said he doesn't like shaving, but he was glad he wouldn't have trim his bear daily any more.

“It was a lot of work to keep it,” he said.

But the inaugural year of No Shave November will lead to more in the future, Magee said. Donations for Home Base are being accepted through next week, and before they left, the students put in their own $25 donation.

Maybe that will help them out if they go a little over the speed limit on their way to class.

While trimming the chiefs beard, student Taylor Rowe joked,  “Now you can't pull me over.”

Rochester Police Officer Nathan Valente waits while his hair stylists gets a stronger clipper to shave his thick beard. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)
Nathan Valente, Jason Denham, Rob Nordahl, Alex Malo and Chief Paul Magee are ready to get their beards shaved. Not pictured: Scott Smith, who was unable to attend. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)
Rob Nordahl gets a little off the top. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)
“Now you can't pull me over,” Taylor Rowe told Chief Paul Magee. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)
Chief Paul Magee before and after. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)
Officer Rob Nordahl before and after. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)
Jason Denham before and after. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)
Officer Alex Malo before and after. (Photo by: Georgia Sparling)
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