ITHACA, N.Y. — Officers from the Ithaca Police Department and Cornell University got a little scruffy this November for a cause. Between both departments, officers raised more than $4,000 for Officer Colin Hayward Toland.

Officers in both departments decided to take part in No-Shave November to raise awareness for cancer, while also supporting the Ithaca Police Department’s youngest officer, who has a rare form of brain cancer.

The Ithaca Police Department raised $3,700 and the Cornell University Police Department raised $540.

On his Facebook page, Officer Colin said he was humbled by the amount officers raised. Officer Colin’s statement:

“Wow! We are truly humbled by the amount that our IPD family has collected to support Officer Colin’s adventures. Mike Meskill is absolutely correct that we would have been happy to get $100 or a big hug, but we deeply appreciate this. We are very pleased to report that we all had an incredible time in California connecting with family, showing Officer Colin the world, and allowing him and his vibrant spirit to open doors we didn’t even know were there.

Everywhere we go, we find a friendly face behind a uniform and badge, someone who is ready to embrace Officer Colin and his passion for serving the community. Thank you, IPD (and Cornell Police!) for welcoming us into your family.”

Cornell police take part in No-Shave November to benefit Officer Colin Hayward Toland.
Cornell police take part in No-Shave November to benefit Officer Colin Hayward Toland.

Nine-year-old Officer Colin was sworn in to the IPD in September and has been busy. He has participated in different types of training, patrolled the Ithaca Commons and has spoken to students at Northeast Elementary School, where his in fourth grade. On Monday, Officer Colin received the Frank G. Hammer Officer of the Month Award by the Kiwanis Club of Ithaca Cayuga.

Related: Ithaca’s youngest officer honored as officer of the month

Officer Jamie Williamson of the Ithaca Police Department said No-Shave November was a “no doubt a success.” Officers participated to raise awareness for cancer prevention and cancer research. Officers could also paint their nails gray or wear a gray ribbon in their hair.

“No doubt cancer has affected every IPD officer in some capacity. This year we have welcomed Officer Colin and his family into the IPD Family.  We are proud to support Officer Colin and his family. The money we raised this year, about $3,700, will help offset some of the expenses incurred during Officer Colin’s journey,” Williamson said.

About half of the IPD participated in No-Shave November.

This was the second year Cornell police officers participated in No-Shave November. Last year, they did a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This year officers wanted to donate money to Officer Colin and his family, Deputy Chief David Honan of Cornell Police said.

“Understanding what’s all involved in his treatment, every little bit’s going to help him,” Honan said.

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.