On the afternoon of December 21, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members and staff gathered at the Two Waters courtyard to witness a unique event: the Shop With a Cop Aftershave Party, during which Salt River Police Department Assistant Chief Karl Auerbach had his signature moustache shaved off.
It all began when the SRPD began planning the annual Shop With a Cop event in mid December. The program depends on private donations, and this year, while in a command staff meeting at the police department, the officers were thinking of new ways to raise money for the event. One of the ideas suggested was that Auerbach would publicly shave off his moustache, which he’s had for more than 30 years, if the Community could raise $3,700 for Shop With a Cop.
Auerbach graciously agreed to do it “for the kids.”
Within 30 days, $2,700 was raised, and additional private contributions came from the Shadow Mountain Mobile Home community’s block watch, which contributed $1,000 to the cause two days before the deadline, and a contribution from the SRPMIC Administration and Council, for a total of $4,700.
The big day arrived for Auerbach to shave his moustache. Members of the Boys and Girls Club Lehi Branch hoop dancing class provided entertainment, and SRPD staff members and Tribal Council representatives provided comments. Staff from the Toni & Guy Hair Dressing Academy, located at the Pavilions at Talking Stick, conducted the official shave.
SRPD Chief Patrick Melvin welcomed everyone to the Shop With a Cop Aftershave Party. “It’s a great day for the Community and great day for the police department,” said Melvin. “We are very excited today because it represents a victory for everyone, especially our youth.”
The chief joked about Auerbach, who was sitting in front of the crowd with a cape on, ready for his shave. Melvin said that his was the most expensive moustache since Tom Selleck’s.
Auerbach said, “I did it all for the kids. Shop With a Cop is a shining experience of what Christmas is all about—it’s about the Community, compassion, generosity, and it’s about making a difference, and that is what our Community is all about. Thank you so much to everyone for your support.”
The annual Valley-wide Shop With a Cop event took place December 19 and was a huge success, with members from 19 law-enforcement agencies helping 135 children, including 30 from the SRPMIC, to shop for clothing and toys for Christmas.
The Shop With a Cop program is part of Arizona Law Enforcement Outreach and Support (LEOS), a private nonprofit organization that relies on private donations and is dedicated to serving children throughout the Valley by collaborating with local law enforcement.