NYPD trainee says he was kicked out of the academy for refusing to trim his beard
It was a hairy situation on Friday.
Fishel Litzman, a Hasidic NYPD recruit, just a few weeks away from finishing his training, was forced to leave the police academy on Friday because his beard was too long, the Daily News reports.
Litzman cites religion for why he refuses to trim his beard to the NYPD’s required length, and does not see how the length of his facial hair could affect his performance on the job.
He might not agree, but the NYPD clearly states that all officers must be clean-shaven.
In a statement released by the NYPD, their chief spokesman, Paul Browne, addressed Litzman and the confrontation between the two parties.
“The NYPD makes reasonable accommodations in this regard, permitting beards to be 1 (millimeter) in length for religious purposes,” Browne said.
The police department did not give Litzman an explicit reason for his termination, but also reported that Litzman was achieving high test scores while in the academy. In his last three tests, Litzman scored a 96, 99, and 100, the Daily News reported.
Sources said that the long beard does pose a hazard, though, the Daily News said. According to that report, the beard compromises the safety of the masks used in counter-terrorism training.
Litzman and his attorney, Nathan Lewin, are planning to hold a religious discrimination lawsuit against the police department, the Huffington Post reported.
The fuzz don’t like fuzz.
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