Outer East Portland cops get buzz-cuts to support Doernbecher

Find out why about 20 police folks – including the commander – are sporting a very short hairstyle now, in the dead of winter …

His son Tanner, Deputy District Attorney J.R. Ujifusa, his daughter Grace, and freshly “cropped” Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Commander Michael Crebs watch, as other officers participate in “Gracie’s Crop-A-Cop” fundraiser for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Community Room took on the appearance of an Army recruit processing center barbershop on the afternoon of January 26. East Portland cops, and officers from other jurisdictions, walked in with a full head of hair – and walked out with a close-cropped buzz-cut.

“We’re calling it ‘Gracie’s Crop-A-Cop’,” explained the Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney stationed at East Precinct, J.R. Ujifusa. “My daughter, Gracie, was diagnosed with leukemia in August. The chemotherapy caused her to lose her hair.”

Fortunately, the treatment was successful, Ujifusa said, holding his daughter – who sported an almost-too-large for her cap. “Thanks to her treatment at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, now she’s doing great.”

This “Crop-a-Cop” event, put together by East Precinct Sergeant Deb Steigleder, gives friends, family members, and officers the opportunity to support Gracie’s recovery by shedding their locks, the organizer said. “And, it’s a fundraiser for Doernbecher.”

Becky Martin from Salon Ambience prepares SPI Detective Teresa Uttke for her new hairstyle.

Detective gets clipped, again
We missed Commander Michael Crebs’ and Lt. Anderson’s haircuts, but we were there to witness Special Property Investigations Detective Teresa Uttke – yes, a female – join the men in getting a new, low-maintenance hairstyle.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve done this,” Uttke told us as she moved to the shearing chair. “I did this back in 1997 and 1998. I think this is for a very good cause.”

The room suddenly feels a bit cooler to her, as Detective Uttke loses her locks.

In addition to her own $10 donation, we learned that Uttke was submitting to the tortuous tonsorial treatment to fulfill $846 in pledges.

“You look at that little girl, and your heart melts,” Uttke said softly, as Becky Martin from Salon Ambience got ready to buzz-cut her next customer.

In all, Sergeant Steigleder reported that the event raised $5,000 for the children’s hospital.

Detective Uttke proudly shows off her new ‘do – actually, the lack thereof – and joins the ranks of some 20 others who also wanted to support Gracie’s campaign for Doernbecher.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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