Goshen News, Goshen, IN

November 22, 2013

21 go bald for pal

Police officers shave heads in support of ailing patrolman

BY SAM HOUSEHOLDER sam.householder@goshennews.com
Goshen News

GOSHEN — GOSHEN

Members of the Goshen police force gathered at Doug’s Sports Cut to have their heads shaved Thursday to support a fellow officer’s battle against cancer.

On Oct. 14, Ptl. Phil Rissot was diagnosed with A.L.L. leukemia, a rare cancer in adults and he has been undergoing treatment in Indianapolis at the Simon Cancer Center.

Rissot said he took a leave from the force about a month ago and his fellow officers have shown all kinds of support to him and his family during this trying time.

“We decided to do a little gathering for everybody that’s showing their support for Phil by shaving their head,” said Detective Nick McCloughen.

“Like we say, we’re a family and he’s going beyond his comfort zone, something we’ll never ever understand, and for us this is something minor that we can (do to) show we’re going out of our comfort zone to get rid of our hair,” McCloughen said. “People are going to ask us why we did it and it’s just going to spread the information about Phil and why we did it for him.”

According to McCloughen, the idea originated with Lt. Bill Hubbard who sent out an email to department employees to get as many guys as possible to shave their head. McCloughen said 21 officers got their hair buzzed off.

“(It’s) something easy and fun for us to do and get some good laughs out of it,” McCloughen said.

Rissot appreciates the support from his work family.

“I’m just starting my battle, it’s going to be a long road, but with support like this, I think anyone can make it through,” he said.

“Words can’t describe, for a lot of guys this is pretty traumatic. I know what they’re going through, as far as the hair part, but words can’t describe how touched I am, all the support (to) come through just for me, to do this, so it means a lot,” Rissot said.

A fundraiser for Rissot will be held January 11 at the Elkhart Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 52, which according to McCloughen, will hold a 50/50 raffle and silent auction, along with live music and a steak dinner.

“It’s great to see such a bad circumstance turn into a great morale thing, to see us come together as a team and a family is a great thing to support such a bad situation,” McCloughen said.