Florida City Closes Barbershops Because of Coronavirus, but the Cops Are Still Getting Haircuts

Police chief: "it is imperative that our law enforcement Officers project an image of command and authority."


Citizens of Hialeah, Florida, may have noticed that their police officers are suspiciously well-groomed. Now they know why.

Despite state and local orders to shutter "non-essential" businesses—barbershops included—until the coronavirus pandemic is under control, Hialeah Police Chief Sergio Velazquez arranged for one barber to continue to cut cops' hair.

Velazquez justified the double standard on public safety grounds. According to the Miami Herald:

Velazquez argued that scruffy cops send the wrong message to the public: "Particularly in these unprecedented times of a global health pandemic which has caused tension and anxiety and disruption in our community, it is imperative that our law enforcement Officers project an image of command and authority."

Our fragile civilization hangs by a thread, and the police department's hairstyles are the well-groomed line that separates the public from anarchy.

Contrary to the chief, I'd expect special privileges for agents of the state to promote disrespect for authority, thus undermining public order. To cope with the misery of life under quarantine, won't people want to feel like everyone is in this together?

This is the second time Hialeah has attracted headlines recently. Last week, pictures of residents standing in long lines outside the local library went viral. The lines, which were in wild violation of social distancing orders, resulted from the fact that residents were required to pick up physical copies of their unemployment forms.

NEXT: 3 Ways New York Botched the Coronavirus Response in March

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. You know the old bumper stickers “If you hate cops, then when you need help, call a hippie”?

    Well, without haircuts, cops will turn into a bunch of hairy hippies, with joints dangling out of the corners of their mouths, throwing flowers at perps and trying to teach them to sing “kumbayah.”

    Cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria.

  2. Respect muh authoritah!

  3. “imperative that our law enforcement Officers project an image of command and authority”


    1. It really is horrible. And they say these things without a trace of irony.

  4. It’s funny that these same types likely genuinely worship a God who looks like a hippy.

    1. Hey! Everybody looked like that back in the day!

      1. But not the Romans, the people who tortured and murdered their God.

    2. Well, he was a Capricorn…

      1. “‘Cos everybody’s got to have somebody to look down on.”

        And that’s why Tiger King is #1 on Netlfix right now.

  5. “it is imperative that our law enforcement Officers project an image of command and authority.”

    With all due respect, Chief, isn’t that what their guns and uniforms are for?

    1. It amuses me that he doesn’t think Civil War generals, who were both bearded and shaggy, projected an image of command and authority.

      1. “Those clean-shaven effeminate fucks!”

      2. Or Vikings and Saxons

  6. Do as we say, not as we do.

  7. At least it’ll be easier to recognize the undercover cops.

  8. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

    1. Bingo. We all read Animal Farm and know how it ends.

  9. Police chief: “it is imperative that our law enforcement Officers project an image of command and authority OBEY.”


  10. The day I take orders from any not sporting a military cut and perfectly groomed copstache…

  11. If only they cared about their physical fitness as much as they do about their hair.

    1. What are you insinuating, NTTAWWT?

    2. Where Im from, Id guess 75% of the officers are juicing

      1. Around here it’s similar. About 2/3 look like they only spend time at the gym in their off hours (and yeah, that includes the females), and most of the rest look like they only patrol donut shop drive-thrus. There’s very little middle ground. Also, although some male cops get a pass on flabbiness, I’ve _never_ seen an overweight female cop here.

    3. I wonder if donut shops are considered essential?

  12. The arrogance and sense of self-entitlement of this cop is palpable.

  13. Police chief: “it is imperative that our law enforcement Officers project an image of command and authority.”
    Because nobody can find any evidence of their “command and authority”.

  14. Nice Article, Thanks for sharing Facebook ID

  15. ‘Our fragile civilization hangs by a thread?’ Crikey, someone missing cocktail parties, Soave? Teasing, but this is the sort of silliness I expect from the Kos or Salon. Order yerself an emotional support teddy bear, pour a glass of liquid courage, watch a sunrise/set.

    1. Agreed. The amount of hype on this site is sad. Reason apparently isn’t a quality practiced by the writers.

  16. Rules apply to YOU, not them. If you need a certain haircut to command authority, you have no authority.

  17. Let’s be serious. A barbershop is a traditional hangout for a lot of older gentlemen. A salon is a hangout for a lot of women, young and old. Where they are in close contact with the barber/cosmetologist, who has contact with a huge number of people. The risk is a group of people getting together and spreading infection. A small child could see that.

    The only additional person at risk here is the one barber, as all the police would be together anyway. If the barber is a cop or a relative, there is zero additional risk. Why should they not be allowed to get their buzz cuts?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.