Glendale PD Growing Beards for a Good Cause

Glendale Police Officer Joe Allen is growing a beard in support of fundraising efforts for Jorge Acevedo.
Glendale Police Officer Joe Allen is growing a beard in support of fundraising efforts for Jorge Acevedo.

Members of the Glendale Police Dept. are growing beards for the month of July as part of a fundraiser to help a Glendale Police Dept. employee.

In 1999, Jorge Acevedo was on the road to becoming a police officer, but that dream came to an end the day after Christmas. Acevedo was on his way home in Los Angeles when he was shot multiple times and left for dead while stopped at a stop sign. Acevedo believed this was an attempted carjacking by gang members, but the case was never solved.

This tragedy left Acevedo in a coma and completely paralyzed, but it did not break his spirit. After several months in a coma, he woke up and, after over a year of therapy, he was able to regain some of his speech and some movement to his legs and arms. He was left wheelchair-bound, but refused to give up on his dream to be a part of law enforcement. Acevedo became a volunteer with the Glendale Police Dept. in November 2001. He truly defined service for others by volunteering at the police department, as well as at Glendale Community College, and even as the president of the Disabled Access Appeals Commission for the City of Los Angeles. He has become a true inspiration for everyone he meets as he zips around in his motorized wheelchair with a smile on his face.

Unfortunately, Acevedo’s hardships did not end. In June 2015, he suffered a stroke as a result of his injuries. This stroke left him almost completely immobile and unable to talk. But Acevedo refused to give up. He has been attending therapy for the past year and desperately wants to return to work. Acevedo’s home does not have wheelchair access and he relies on his mother to carry him, limiting his freedom to come and go at his residence.

The Glendale Police Dept. held several fundraisers that allowed Acevedo to begin work on a wheelchair lift. In an attempt to raise the remaining funds needed ($8,000), the Glendale Police Dept. will be getting a bit grubby. For the month of July, all personnel will be allowed to grow beards when they donate $50 to the cause.

Only once in the organization’s 110-year history were uniformed personnel authorized to grow a beard. That was in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the City of Glendale during the Days of Verdugos in 1956.

The Glendale Police Officers’ Association is accepting donations. Checks can be made out to the “GPOA” with “Acevedo” written in the memo section and mailed to 131 N. Isabel Street, Glendale CA 91206.