In many cultures around the world, a man is not truly considered to have achieved manhood until he grows a beard. American missionaries and special forces soldiers have acknowledged and adapted accordingly to this reality, as a beard may simply be a necessary element of professional attire in some circumstances.

As our culture here in the homeland becomes increasingly diverse, our law enforcement officers are increasingly exposed to other cultures as well. It may be time for Maryland to review state policies for police officers’ facial hair. While a professional and well-groomed appearance is a must in all situations for our male law enforcement personnel, a baby-faced police officer simply may not garner the same respect from all cultural perspectives.

Jonathan States

Mount Airy

(6) comments

mrnatural1

MODS: Why was the post from MD1756 deleted? He posted: "If there comes a time you have to wear a gas mask or respirator, it will not work well if you have a full beard. When I worked at RAAP in Radford, VA you had to observe certain strict facial hair requirements so it wouldn't interfere with the effectiveness of respirators."

MD1756

If there comes a time you have to wear a gas mask or respirator, it will not work well if you have a full beard. When I worked at RAAP in Radford, VA you had to observe certain strict facial hair requirements so it wouldn't interfere with the effectiveness of respirators.

mrnatural1

Good point MD.

mrnatural1

I get the author's point, but the first question that comes to my mind is -- what about female officers? I'd suggest that people might want to have some respect for the uniform, the position, that is unrelated to the officer's age, gender, or appearance. LEO's have the full force of the state behind them. All have the same authority. One way or another, at the end of the day, people will figure that out.

stjohn42

How is the writer certain that the beards in question are grown for "respect", as opposed to camouflage or out of lack of time/money to shave? Having said that, whether a beard is permitted (or not) in any job should be entirely a decision based upon the objective needs of the profession at hand.

Comment deleted.
hayduke2

Really, that’s what you came away with??

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