wore long hair as an undercover drug investigator and decided to give it to Locks of Love
Iowa City, Ia. - Chris Akers'
lion-like hair and grizzled goatee gave him cover for five years as an undercover investigator, busting cocaine dealers.
But when Akers
recently returned to patrol, the mane had to go.The 41-year-old Iowa City police officer donated the foot-long blond ponytail to Locks of Love
, an organization that makes hairpieces for needy children with long-term hair loss.
"It's been a friend for a long time, that hair," Akers
said.Akers, who has worked for the Iowa City Police Department for 17 years, used his looks and size - he's 6 feet, 5 inches and 260 pounds - to his advantage doing undercover jobs around the state as part of the Johnson County Narcotics Task Force.
Cocaine and methamphetamine dealers never suspected the somewhat-menacing man with a ponytail halfway down his
back was a cop, Akers
said.Even people who met him when he was a clean-cut patrol officer didn't recognize him when he was undercover, he said.
was able to change his
appearance dramatically to work in an undercover capacity."
At first, Akers
hair because he
could.After 12 years on patrol - where officers wear blue suits and crew cuts - he
had the option, as a drug investigator, to look scruffy.Then he
heard about Locks of Love
, which requires a ponytail or braid at least 10 inches long.So he
hair longer, only getting trims to keep it healthy.