The Associated Press reported that the Houston City Council on Wednesday unanimously authorized spending up to $150,000 to defend the city in a lawsuit challenging the no-facial hair policy.
"The lawsuit is pending and we have to defend ourselves," Councilman Ron Green said. "But we're basically saying we want new police officers, but we don't want police officers with beards."
Four police officers filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in November claiming the policy is discriminatory, according to the AP.
The officers say the prohibition on beards and goatees is unfair for men who suffer a skin condition that reacts negatively to shaving. The condition can cause severe irritation, rashes and ingrown hair.
OK, the image (left) of the fine fellow from Germany may be an exaggeration of what we're trying to say. And maybe it's inappropriate for us up here in Cowtown to comment -- after all, Fort Worth has its share of crime -- but it's no secret that crime in Houston is a grave concern for its residents. We wonder if they think their officers have better things to do, and if all those legal fees spent by the City Council could be better spent on police recruitment, equipment, overtime .....
-- Bill Miller