NEW YORK (AP) — An Orthodox Jew who was weeks away from becoming a New York City police officer says he has been kicked out of the police academy for refusing to trim his beard.
Former recruit Fishel Litzman tells the Daily News that he was fired Friday after multiple confrontations with the department over the length of his whiskers.
Litzman is Hasidic and believes that cutting his beard is forbidden by God.
NYPD rules usually require officers to be clean-shaven. The department makes exceptions for beards kept for religious purposes, but even then only allows 1 millimeter worth of growth.
Litzman says he doesn’t understand why the department wouldn’t accommodate him.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne says the department’s rules are reasonable and Litzman was aware of them when he signed up.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.