NORFOLK — The city’s police department’s community outreach initiative, “Five-0 and Fades,” will be giving out free haircuts to school age boys 5-18 years old during their third annual “Five-0 and Fades Back to School Haircuts” outreach event.
It will be on Sept. 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Southside STEM Academy at Campostella, 1106 Campostella Road.
The first 300 boys to receive haircuts will also receive backpacks, officials said.
“The back to school backpacks are courtesy of Norfolk Police corporate community outreach partner, SunTrust Bank,” said Community Relations Manager Karen Parker-Chesson.
In addition to providing the backpacks, this year SunTrust will have its team members on site to share money management tips for youth and their parents and offer a “surprise challenge incentive,” Parker-Chesson said.
Families who participate in the event will also have access to numerous opportunities to engage with police officers in a block party atmosphere of games, free food and fun activities, to include K-9 and other specialty unit demonstrations, officials said.
This year, the list of corporate community partners for back to school outreach, has grown to include Walmart, Sun Trust and 7-Eleven, along with returning Five-0 & Fades barbers and Norfolk Public Schools.
Police Chief Larry D. Boone said he knows this type of outreach creates positive civic synergy.
“I’m grateful our officers and community partners are intentional about sharing resources that will make a difference in the lives of our youth,” Boone said. “We don’t just give kids a backpack, a pat on the back and say, ‘good luck,’ we are far more invested than that. We will also continue our conversations about gun violence during this engagement opportunity. This is a true community win, when we gather and partner in the best interest of each other, for meaningful outcomes.”
Making Five-0 and Fades
The Five-0 and Fades outreach initiative launched January 2017, with a “live” community barbershop forum for discussions on difficult topics between officers and young men, officials said.
Boys of every age have attended the event in the past, Parker-Chesson said.
While the department initially thought the target group of boys would be elementary age, instead they were serving tweens the most, she said.
There are 30-plus barbers who give their time for this outreach.
“The young men line up early to get a great haircut, words of encouragement from our officers, and real conversations about gangs and gun violence among their peers,” she said.
Several Norfolk barbershops serve as the backdrop for monthly conversations that assist to bridge the gap for mutual respect, officials said.
A few new barbers have joined the group, but they come from the existing anchor barber shops that participate, Parker-Chesson said.
Youth must be accompanied by an adult to receive a haircut.
Adults are not limited to the number of youth they may bring to receive haircuts, officials added.
The police department has seen great participation at past events and is expecting a large turnout this year, Parker-Chesson said.
Families do not have to be from Norfolk to participate, she added.
For more information, contact Parker-Chesson at 757-390-1954.