GOSHEN — Police officers from Goshen will shave their heads to support a fellow officer.
Since officer Phil Rissot was diagnosed with leukemia almost a month ago, according to detective Nick McCloughen, the Goshen Police Department has taken it upon themselves to show Rissot support.
At 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, 18 officers will have their heads shaved at Doug’s Sports Cut at 2004 Elkhart Road in Goshen.
“He’s got to do the physical fighting,” said McCloughen, but the police department will do the financial fighting.
According to McCloughen, Rissot was returning from his night shift when another officer persuaded him to go to the hospital.
“He was looking very pale,” said McCloughen.
Rissot was rushed to the hospital, and the next day he was taken by ambulance to Indianapolis to start treatment.
“Everyone’s been shook by it,” said McCloughen, who said that since Rissot was hired in 1999, he’s become an important part of the department. “We’re family,” he said.
The Goshen Police Department has helped Rissot by creating wristbands, T-shirts and other merchandise to help raise funds for Rissot’s family. The money will be used for Rissot’s medical bills and transportation costs as he goes back and forth to Indianapolis, McCloughen said.
Apart from raising money through merchandise, McCloughen said, other officers have been working overtime to cover Rissot’s shift. In turn, those officers have given their extra wages to help Rissot.
“We have his back,” said McCloughen, who will also be shaving his head on Thursday. McCloughen has also helped to plan a fundraising banquet to support the Rissots in January 2014.
Doug Shaffer, who will be cutting the officers’ hair, sees this as an extraordinary act of kindness from within the community.
“It’s a great thing that all these officers are doing,” Shaffer said.