For a healthy reminder of the ways police officers benefit their communities, consider Buffalo’s increasingly bushy finest. With special dispensation from the rule against facial hair, the city’s male cops are growing beards as a fundraiser for Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Each participant – there are at least 230 so far – makes a $25 donation to the hospital, which the Police Benevolent Association has generously agreed to match. The officers have a little bit of fun – female officers are also making donations – and the hospital will benefit at least $11,500.
It could be even better: If you interact with a Buffalo police officer between now and Christmas – by which time the beards will be gone – make your own donation to Roswell Park. Think of it as a Christmas gift to someone who may benefit down the road from research you helped to fund.
Here’s a hopeful holiday ratio: 35-to-1. For every miserable, destructive, indifferent wretch in the world, 35 good-hearted people are willing to stand up for decency.
That, at least, is the experience of Michigan Street Baptist Church in Buffalo. After a vandal damaged two historical markers at the church, 35 donors to a GoFundMe initiative quickly raised the $2,000 it will take to reinstall the markers.
It’s possible, of course, that more than one vandal was involved, but also likely that more people will donate. The odds are stacked in Buffalo’s favor and against the dimwits.
Speaking of whom: If only all criminals were so inept. A doofus in a Darth Vader mask tried to hold up a convenience store in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., but was thwarted when the 67-year-old clerk decided the Force was with him and hurled a bottle of blue cheese dressing at the masked loser.
It was a brave, although perhaps unwise, decision since the would-be bandit was armed with a silver revolver, which he pointed at the clerk. But Darth turned and ran, only to be seen later removing his mask and tending to his bloodied face. Sad to report, there’s a local connection: police identified the dotty desperado as one Jacob J. Mercer, 32, of North Tonawanda.
At least he wasn’t wearing a Bills jersey for the surveillance cameras.