FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Fort Lauderdale Police officers are growing out their facial hair to help a good cause and teaming up with a charity to raise money for cancer research for children.

Officers are bearded up for a good cause.

“This year we participated in the Special Olympics, which we do very year, and the chief and I have been discussing ways on how to kind of extend that and roll into something different,” said Fort Lauderdale Fraternal Order of Police President Brandon Diaz. “We turned it into a fun thing where we allow officers in uniforms to wear a beard if they donated.”

They teamed up with The Cure Starts Now, a charity aimed to help children battling cancer, to raise funds for pediatric cancer research.

“Getting to hear the story of why they got into it, why the charity was started, it really hit home, and it became something we definitely could get behind and we’re very proud to be part of,” Diaz said.

However, the department decided to get a little creative.

“This allowed guys to have some fun and grow a beard,” Diaz said. “For the female officers, they could color her hair, color her nails, something different.”

If officers donated, they got to grow their beards.

If you didn’t know, officers have strict rules when they’re in uniform, and a big one is their appearance.

“Normally in uniform, you can’t wear a beard, and there’s a lot of restriction on your appearance, obviously, in uniform,” Diaz said.

Overall, it was a great experience they all got to share.

“It became a little competitive between some of us with growing it and others, you know, keeping it well groomed and trimmed,” said Fort Lauderdale Police Sgt. Jeff Beauregard.

Even though officers had a great time growing their beards, they say what really made it worth it was the reason behind it.

“A lot of people, when they see me, they think Santa Clause because I got the great beard now, but the message is that we’re ‘bearded up’ to help serve the children of our community,” said Sgt. Dean Schoen.

The officers have raised over $17,000 for The Cure Starts Now and Special Olympics.

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