Officers getting hairy to raise money for SafeHome - KCTV5

Officers getting hairy to raise money for SafeHome

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If your office is looking a little more hairy, you're not alone. A lot of guys compete in No Shave November, which means they let their beards grow. Some local police officers are joining in the fun and hoping to save some lives in the process.

"We were fortunate that 12 officers have participated in this and that's 40 percent of the department. I lovingly refer to them as the ‘dirty dozen,'" said Mission Police Chief John Simmons.

Simmons challenged his officers to step up for SafeHome and take part in No Shave November. His officers raised several hundred dollars for the domestic violence shelter.

"I was very pleased and what it really did was plant a seed - next year we're going to not just extend the invitation to our officers, but I'm also going to challenge other police chiefs in the area to join us in the same program, as well as residents here in the city of Mission," Simmons said.

"The need is very, very great" said SafeHome Executive Director Janee Hanzlick.

She says every dollar makes a difference right now. Safehome is at 110 percent capacity and it's not unusual to have women and children sleeping on cots and sofas because they simply don't have enough rooms.

In the metro there are 350 beds for domestic violence victims who need a safe place to escape their abuser, and on any given night there might be two or three beds total available.

SafeHome in Johnson County recently purchased another building to move offices out of SafeHome.

"What that will allow us to do is open up more bedrooms and counseling space and expand our children's center. While we will not ever have enough beds, it will take some of the pressure off and get people into beds rather than on couches or mattresses on the floor," Hanzlick said.

But the expansion won't come until next fall. Right now the folks at SafeHome are focused on the upcoming holiday season. They want anyone in a dangerous situation to make their resolution for 2014 to get out and get help. Even when they are full, SafeHome will always make room.

"We get a lot more calls from people who, because of the stress of holidays domestic violence can be exacerbated and become more severe," Hanzlick said. "We don't want to see the homicide numbers we have been seeing in Johnson County."

In 2012 five out of six of the homicides in Johnson County were related to domestic violence.

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