A Cut Above: Deep-Undercover Cop Saves Children by a Hair

A Cut Above: Deep-Undercover Cop Saves Children by a Hair

By Stephen Owsinski

Law enforcement officers going deep undercover to infiltrate groups of bad actors, gain rapport, meticulously stitch solid cases, and deposit violent phantoms in jail cells…is a notoriously perilous assignment in police work.

Undercover cops talk the talk, walk the walk, and dress the part, including beards and long hair. After several years of undercover operations, a Redlands Police Department officer came full circle and shed his overgrown hair to save children in need.

(Photo courtesy of the Redlands Police Department.)

To clarify, Redlands police Officer Kyle Myrick sat in front of a city building, out in public, so the police chief could take sheers to his long strands of blonde hair and gather it all up for donation to a network that specializes in replanting hair upon the heads of direly ill youngsters diagnosed with ailments causing hair loss.

(Photo courtesy of the Redlands Police Department.)

Of the myriad character traits illustrating how deep cops can be when it comes to conjuring ideas to give to those in need, this example by Officer Myrick came to a head and filled the heart.

From a Redlands PD spokesperson: “Officer Myrick is rotating back to patrol from his 3-year Special Assignment. Prior to his return, he decided to donate his hair to Locks of Love Official, which helps financially disadvantaged children, aged 21 and under, suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.

“Thank you, Officer Myrick, for your service and good deeds!”

Locks of Love Official is a charity organization “utilizing donated ponytails” and providing the “highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children free of charge.”

Of the many ways cops help save lives and uplift burdened souls, hair does not come to mind. Nevertheless, the need remains…and that circles back to Officer Myrick and the Redlands PD.

I looked at the online presence of the Redlands Police Department and it is consistently clear how founded they are in community policing and giving of themselves.

Officers with the Redlands police force have their hands in solving/preventing more than crime…

Like Officer Myrick shedding his hair for repurposing, namely so ill children can receive prosthetic implantations, Redlands cops dedicate their time and resources to community needs.

(Photo courtesy of the Redlands Police Officer Association.)

From the archived pages of the Redlands PD: “October 1st is The Believe Walk. Here is this year’s Believe Walk tee shirt, modeled by our very own Officer Bubier.

“All proceeds will go to Stater Bros Charities to help fight against cancer.”

For an October 2023 fundraiser to combat cancer, Redlands officers donned shirts pointedly declaring the solidarity in their jurisdiction and the integral role local cops play in significant ways. “In This Town, We Fight Together” are not mere words on a shirt but a testament to the police credo “To protect and serve,” illustrated gloriously.

Such poignant selflessness reminds me of the days my police colleagues conjured ideas and gathered resources to visit local children’s hospitals, spending time with youngsters whose lives met misfortune in the realm of cancer or other debilitating illnesses.

I observed it on the faces and body mannerisms of other police officers present for the outings with burdened boys and girls, but I will speak for myself: It was humbling to share time with children whose smiles perfectly demonstrated grace and humility in the face of dire circumstances. Stifling tears while they exuded glee via the visit with Officer Friendly is indelible.

The Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa, Florida, was one of the facilities our squad of cops would visit. There, so many children were being treated for limb amputations for which manifestations of prosthetic devices were custom-made.

To help bide the time, especially through months of physical therapy to re-learn how to walk with a mechanized limb, law enforcement officers scheduled visits and brought stuffed animals and police-related trinkets such as challenge coins, badge stickers, shoulder patches, die-cast cop cars, shirts, hats, and the like.

Seeing young faces illuminate fulfilled hearts, the children, cops, and hospital staff making it possible.

I suspect Officer Myrick experienced lump-in-throat moments when realizing his deed of shedding his hair went a long way toward warming a child whose self-esteem may have been impacted by dire circumstances.

I also suspect that new friendships were fostered after the sheer deliverance of strands graced heads of children combatting serious ailments, effectively ensuring that others out there care enough to give of themselves…especially from superheroes.

Like other superheroes, a common denominator prevails: Service.

Delving into the Redlands Police archives again, I went back to May 2018, unearthing material underscoring Officer Myrick’s life of service and his beginnings as a Redlands cop:

“Kyle Myrick joins the Redlands Police Department from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, where he served as a corrections deputy and patrol deputy. Prior to his career in law enforcement, Kyle worked as a wildlife biologist out of the San Bernardino Caltrans Office. Additionally, Kyle was an adjunct professor at Cal Poly Pomona for several years and taught classes in the Geography Department. Kyle also served in the US Army.

(Photo courtesy of the Redlands Police Department.)

“Kyle possesses a Bachelor of Science degree in geography and GIS from Cal Poly Pomona, as well as a master’s degree in environmental science from Cal State University Fullerton.”

A life of selfless service, indeed…as the kids who wear his hair can attest.