FAIRFIELD — Police officers may look a bit unkempt this month, but it’s for a good cause.

The Fairfield Police Department has begun its annual No Shave November to raise money for families struggling to pay for cancer treatment. One hundred percent of the money raised goes towards helping cancer-fighting families pay for everyday living expenses such as rent, food and utilities.

This fundraising event has been a Fairfield staple for many years, and last year FPD joined forces with the Connecticut Cancer Foundation and “No Shave November Connecticut” to raise over $4,200 for local cancer patients. They are continuing the partnership this year in the hopes of exceeding last year’s sum.

Police officers across the state are also putting down their razors to fundraise for the Connecticut Cancer Foundation. Last year, No Shave November brought together 60 police departments to raise $100,000.

“The police officers are so excited to participate, especially since the money they raise stays in Connecticut, helping our residents who are fighting cancer,” explained Terri Eickel, Director of Development for the Connecticut Cancer Foundation. “Because of No Shave November, Connecticut cancer patients throughout our state will be able to focus on their health and recovery, not worry about their bills.”

This year’s fundraiser is particularly special in that a Willimantic police officer who participated in last year’s event has become one of the recipients. Sgt. Ian Brown, a 23-year veteran of the Willimantic Police Department, was recently diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma that required a bone marrow transplant.

Brown’s wife had to stop working to care for him during his transplant process, making the financial burden of treatment even greater. The money raised from No Shave November will go a long way towards assisting Brown’s family.

“As police officers, we consider ourselves all brothers and sisters in blue,” said Sgt. Michael Stahl of the Fairfield Police Department. “So being able to support one of our bothers in his time of need is something we don’t take lightly.”

Stahl said many Fairfield police officers make donations to the fundraiser each year, whether or not they choose to grow out their beards.

As of Monday, Nov. 11, FPD had already raised $1,190, according to the department’s fundraising page. With a few razor-less weeks to go in November, they are hoping to drum up even more money for local families in need.

rscharf@hearstmediact.com