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Akridge v. Barres

New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division


Decided: February 23, 1973.

DEREK THOMAS AKRIDGE AND THE BRONZE SHIELDS, INC., A CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
ANTHONY BARRES, CHIEF OF POLICE, CITY OF NEWARK, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT

Lora, Allcorn and Crane.

Per Curiam

[122 NJSuper Page 477]

It is no longer open to question that the members of a police department "in many respects constitute a military organization," 16 McQuillin, Municipal Corporations (3d ed., 1972 rev'd vol.), ยง 45.16, at 621, and as such are necessarily subject to reasonable regulations having to do with discipline and morale. Ward v. Keenan , 3 N.J. 298 (1949); Rivell v. Civil Service Commission , 115 N.J. Super. 64 (App. Div. 1971), certif. den. 59 N.J. 269 (1971); Newark v. Massey , 93 N.J. Super. 317 (App. Div. 1967); N.J.S.A. 40A:14-118.

The police department has a proper and legitimate interest in the appearance of its members, including the

[122 NJSuper Page 478]

length and style of head and facial hair. Cf. Anderson v. Laird , 437 F.2d 912, 915 (7 Cir. 1971), cert. den. 404 U.S. 865, 92 S. Ct. 68, 30 L. Ed. 2d 109 (1971). Contrary to plaintiff's contention, such a regulation does not offend any First Amendment rights of the members of the police department. As was stated in Richards v. Thurston , 424 F.2d 1281, 1283 (1 Cir. 1971), in disposing of a similar contention with regard to a dispute concerning the hair length of a public school student:

See, United States v. O'Brien , 391 U.S. 367, 376, 88 S. Ct. 1673, 20 L. Ed. 2d 672 (1968), reh. den. 393 U.S. 900, 89 S. Ct. 63, 21 L. Ed. 2d 188 (1968); Raderman v. Kaine , 411 F.2d 1102 (2 Cir. 1969), cert. dism., 396 U.S. 976, 90 S. Ct. 467, 24 L. Ed. 2d 447 (1969). See generally, Olff v. East Side Union High School District , 404 U.S. 1042, 92 S. Ct. 703, 30 L. Ed. 2d 736 (1972); Comment, 84 Harv. L. Rev. 1702 (1971). Compare, Friedman v. Froehlke , 470 F.2d 1351 (1 Cir. 1972).

Affirmed.

19730223


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