Coronavirus

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."

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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.

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