Some members of the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office may be sporting a different look this spring.

Some members of the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office may be sporting a different look this spring.

Deputies have been allowed to grow beards in the past. But they were required to shave off their beards by the beginning of March.

But deputies are now allowed to have beards year-round, Sheriff Andy Dedeke said.

"It's been a good thing for morale," he said. "The guys enjoy them."

Dedeke said the Sheriff's Office has not received negative feedback in the past when deputies were allowed to have beards from November through February.

Dedeke also noted that the Leavenworth County Juvenile Detention Center is being merged with the Sheriff's Office, and some of the employees at the JDC have beards.

He said the decision to change the Sheriff's Office policy was made last week ahead of what had been the traditional deadline for deputies shaving off their beards.

The sheriff said deputies still will be required to keep their facial hair neatly groomed. The beards are restricted to one half inch in length.

After becoming sheriff in 2013, Dedeke started allowing deputies to grow beards during the winter.

Initially, deputies who wanted to grow beards were required to make a donation to the Toys for Tots program. But Dedeke said there was enough generosity toward Toys for Tots among Sheriff's Office employees that requiring a donation to grow a beard became unnecessary.

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