It's uncommon for the men who protect and serve to sport a beard — but in Wrentham, Massachusetts, police officers are proudly growing their facial hair to support Lt. George Lebonte.
"Unfortunately, he developed Stage 4 thyroid cancer," said Wrentham Police Chief James Anderson. "He's fighting a tough battle right now."
Lt. Lebonte hasn't been able to suit up, but spends 12-hour days in Boston, going through treatment and pushing to beat cancer. He is fighting to continue supporting his wife and three young children.
His boys in blue, however, are on the force, cheering him on, suited and bearded.
"You don't meet too many guys like him," said officer David Cassidy. "He's just a great human being, a really, really stand up guy."
"His father was a corrections officer for years. His mother's a minister," said motorcycle patrol officer Eric Pellegrini. "I don't want to say he's squeaky clean, but he is squeaky clean."
There's no telling when Lt. Lebonte will be back patrolling the streets of Wrentham, but his colleagues are hoping for a speedy recovery.
Officers will continue showing their support by wearing their beards through next month. They will also hold a blood drive in honor of Lt. Lebonte.