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NYPD monitoring officer beard length and trash cans despite biggest shortage of police since after 9/11

The New York Police Department is cracking down on officer conduct, dress code, and other elements of professionalism including ensuring police keep their beards trimmed, hair combed, and garbage cans empty.

According to the New York Post, the Standards and Assessment section of the two-month-old Professional Standards Bureau section of the NYPD is looking to tighten the department up despite historic lows in staffing.

“If somebody is non-compliant with the beard procedure – they’ll look into that,” said Chief Kevin Maloney, commander of the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information.

“It’s really anything the cops are supposed to adhere to … their job is to make sure they’re doing that. It’s just enforcing the rules.”

As it stands, the Post reports that according to pension data, the NYPD lost 3,701 officers to retirement or resignation in 2022, the most who have left the department since post-9/11 (3,846).

Currently sitting at 33,822 uniformed officers, the department is over 1,200 officers short of its target number due to the 2023 spike in resignations. In the first two months of 2023, 239 cops resigned, which is a 36% increase from 2022. Furthermore, the number is 117% higher than 2021.

Still, officers are being monitored for beard length and appropriate shoes.

“It is absolutely mind-boggling that monitoring beard length and sock color are the NYPD’s top priorities right now,” says Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, the largest police union in the city. The union also recently complained that some officers are still under mask mandates.

A recent alleged memo at the NYPD warned officers of decorum during the St. Patrick’s Day parade, stating that officers must be “properly uniformed, with presentable shoes, clothing and properly groomed including hair and facial hair.”

Department garbage cans are also under scrutiny, with the memo adding that “teams will check to ensure there isn’t garbage overflowing and littered about on all levels of the command.”

“Follow the rules, you have no problems,” a police spokesman said.

“It seems simple enough. … We can’t have a double standard,” the representative added, mentioning that an example of a violation is an officer showing up without a hat.

Break times and locations are also being looked at, and if violations are found, cops could have their vacation time penalized, usually five to 10 days, depending on the infraction.

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