If you've seen a Joplin Police officer lately, chances are they're looking a little scruffier than usual, breaking the station's "no facial hair policy".
Members of the Joplin Police Department are breaking the rules for "No Shave November" and willingly donating their $10 fine to the Reeves family, a local family battling the trials of waiting for a heart transplant for their one-year-old son, Rohen.
"We got a little facial hair because we're trying to help out the Reeves family, we're trying to make a little donation to their cause and just help out their family in a time of need," officer Josh Dkystra said.
Christopher Reeves is Rohen's father. Reeves worked at JPD in dispatch and the jail for awhile before taking on the jobs he holds now: paramedic with METS ambulance and Newton County ambulance, and firefighter at Redings Mill Fire Department. His wife, Amanda and daughter, Rielynn are staying with Rohen at Children's Mercy in Kansas City while they await a suitable donor. Rohen currently has a "Berlin heart", a device serving as a heart outside his body.
Reeves is commuting back and forth during the week between his jobs and to see his family, tabulating travel expenses in addition to his son's medical expenses.
"It's hard to find words to show our appreciation, I was a dispatcher there for 8 years, worked in the jail for a year, so I know a lot of the guys pretty well. It's hard to explain, it's a tight-knit family. If you're ever in need, they're always there," Reeves said.
Many officers recall their time working alongside Reeves on medical calls, calling him a "good guy".
"Chris, METS, Fire (department), anybody would do it for us, we'll do it for them," officer Keaton Siebenaler said.
Officers must pay a $10 fine at the end of their work week. All fines benefit the Reeves'.
Reeves calls Rohen's situation a "waiting game" as they wait for the phone call that a donor came through.
A Facebook page, "Following Baby Rohen" gives updates on his condition.
A GoFundMe page benefits his family: https://www.gofundme.com/2qmbtuak
KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas