Plaintiff Akridge is a Newark policeman. He challenges the validity of Special Order No. 71-15 which was issued by defendant chief of police on March 23, 1971 and which purports to set standards of appearance for policemen by regulating hairstyles on head and face. According to the complaint, The Bronze Shields, Inc. has joined as a plaintiff on behalf of policemen who are its members, but the only specific grievance alleged is the impact of the order upon plaintiff Akridge. Special Order No. 71-15 is as follows:
POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWARK, NEW JERSEY
SPECIAL ORDER FROM THE CHIEF OF POLICE NO. 71-15
SUBJECT: STANDARDS OF APPEARANCE--
HAIR STYLE--FACIAL HAIR GROWTHS
The purpose of this order is to set standards of appear-
ance for hair styles and facial hair growths worn by
Police Officers. The tolerances set forth represent a
reconciliation between the current acceptance of fuller
and longer male hair styling and the need for establish-
ing clearly defined limits within which our Department
can maintain its uniformed identity.
The standards as defined are a compilation of recom-
mendations made by Divisional Commanders after con-
sultation with subordinates at all functional levels.
The tenets of this order are binding on all Police Officers
except when their assignments or duties permit a
departure from the requirements. However, any de-
parture must be approved by the Divisional Commander.