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Coming soon: Bearded police officers in St. Paul

Police Chief Todd Axtell is already sporting some stubble.
bearded cop

Stock image of a police officer with a beard that might not be "within reason" in St. Paul. 

An old rule that restricted police officers from having beards is ending in St. Paul

Police Chief Todd Axtell made the announcement Thursday on his Facebook page with an attached photo of himself with gray, um, we mean "Arctic blond" stubble.  

"Today (and into the future) you might see your police officers wearing something new: beards," said Axtell. "Beards have been prohibited for a variety of reasons—mostly to adhere to decades-old grooming standards."

Axtell said he respects tradition but it was time to "change with the times." 

"It’s a decision I made for several reasons: Because our workforce asked for it. Because we need to attract talented people (some of whom want to wear beards). Because we have to be approachable and relatable (beards help us do that)," he added. 

"And because we’re all unique human beings, just like the people we serve."

Of course, there is a caveat. Bears are allowed "within reason." 

We're guessing that means no beards like ZZ Topp or James Harden will be allowed. 

Axtell said his "Arctic blond" stubble represents the first time he's started growing a beard in his professional life. 

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