NYPD blues for Orthodox recruit with beard

By Jennifer Lipman, June 11, 2012

A Chasidic trainee policeman has complained that he was asked to leave the force because his beard was longer than regulation.

Fishel Litzman's hopes of becoming a full-fledged member of the New York Police Department were dashed when he was fired from the training academy just a month before qualification.

Mr Litzman's facial hair was apparently the reason; NYPD officers are usually required to be clean - shaven, but short beards are tolerated for religious purposes. His facial hair, however, went beyond the two millimetre limit. He had already been disciplined more than once for his unkempt appearance before being fired on Friday.

The Monsey father-of-five, who said he had always dreamed of being a police officer, has consulted a lawyer and could take action on the grounds of religious discrimination.

A spokesman for the NYPD told the New York Daily News that Mr Litzman knew about the beard rule when he signed up as a trainee.

More than 20 Orthodox Jewish police officers serve the NYPD.

Last updated: 11:05am, June 11 2012