Law enforcement officers in Ocean and Monmouth Counties are putting their razors down and raising awareness of men's cancer and mental health illness for various causes during No Shave November.

In Lacey Township, Police Chief Michael DiBella explains that over the last four years his department has raised $21,000 while participating in the national NoShaveNovember campaign.

This year, they're keeping their efforts local and close to home.

The money raised by Lacey Police this November will go to the family of retired Lanoka Harbor Volunteer Fire Company Chief John Szafranski III who recently lost his battle with Pancreatic Cancer that he privately battled for years.

"Chief Szafranski really was at the forefront as being not just a first responder but someone who has continually given back to Lacey Township for years," Chief DiBella tells 92.7 WOBM News. "He was very heavily involved with the fire department and he was just a person you can just go and speak to, he was very caring, he always wanted to give back to the community and do what's right. He'll certainly be missed."

"I've known Chief Szafranski for about 30-years, I've grown up with his son and daughter and my children are friends with his grandchildren," Lacey Police Sergeant George Resetar tells 92.7 WOBM News. "Chief Szafranski has always been like a Beacon for the town, he's very well respected, very well known, a very calm gentleman who was always able to open his eyes and ears and never passed judgement on anybody. He was very good at providing helpful and insightful information to make every one of us better at our jobs."

"He's been a mentor and friend to all of us here, we worked very closely with him," Lacey Police Officer Michael Hutman tells 92.7 WOBM News. "We're a very strong and close knit family in this community. When one of our family members are experiencing something or hurting, we all feel that."

The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office has been participating in the NoShaveNovember campaign for the last couple years and dedicating their fundraising and awareness efforts to a particular cause or individual.

"It brings us all together to do something good for the betterment of not just the office but for cancer research in general," Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer tells 92.7 WOBM News.

In 2018, they honored the father of OCPO Assistant Prosecutor Michael Nolan and the father of OCPO Chief Joe Mitchell last year.

This month they will honor Anthony Carrington Sr. ,89, of Lakewood who is the father of OCPO Captain Anthony Carrington Jr. and the grandfather of OCPO Detective Anthony Carrington III and is currently undergoing treatment for a rare form of cancer known as multiple myeloma.

"We will be donating to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and that donation will be made in Anthony Carrington Sr.'s name," Billhimer said.

The Carrington family has had an impact on not only the OCPO but the community as well.

Anthony Carrington Jr. has worked in the office for about 27-years in every unit in the office, his son Anthony III is among four children.

"Family is so important to them and it just made sense for us to honor Mr. Carrington Sr.," Billhimer said. "The whole Carrington family is just a good solid family and people that you want to have around you and you want to help them when they need help because they would certainly help you if you needed help."

In Marlboro, Police Chief Peter Pezzullo explains that his department is raising funds to donate to The Frances Foundation for Kids Fighting Cancer, Inc. in Monmouth County which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization who brings smiles and comfort to children battling cancer and provide financial assistance to pediatric cancer families.

One such family this year will be that of 14-year old Hayden who was diagnosed with Leukemia last November. .

Chief Pezzullo says that Hayden was supposed to be in the hospital for 30 days but ended up staying for over 6 weeks.

"From there he had Anaphylaxis to the following chemotherapy treatments and needed to go to the clinic 3 times a week for his chemotherapy shot.

Hayden, who is also autistic, "has been a trooper throughout, never complaining while maintaining a positive and cheerful attitude."

As Hayden continues to battle Leukemia, Marlboro Police and the Marlboro community are coming together to help him and his family in this fight while trying to make sure Hayden keeps on smiling.

"In speaking to his family, they were over the moon with the thought that we would help them and Hayden but the foundation as well by raising money," Chief Pezzullo tells 92.7 WOBM News. "We are not only going to raise money within the police department but we have a bunch of businesses in town that are going to assist us along the way. We also pushed it out on social media and have gotten some phenomenal responses from community business owners and residents who all want to chip in and help out the family and help out Hayden and donate towards the foundation."

If you are interested in making a donation to help Marlboro Police help The Frances Foundation and the "warriors" like Hayden, contact Patrolman James Caulfield who can be reached at (732) 536-0100 extension 1118 or jcaulfield@marlboropd.org.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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