WOODBRIDGE — The county's prosecutor has told Woodbridge it must stop offering haircuts to police and other personnel.

According to emails obtained by NJ.com, which first reported on the service, a barber was made available to personnel at the police department on 12 different days. Woodbridge Township Police director Robert Hubner told the news organization the cuts were offered so officers could comply with department grooming standards. However, NJ.com reports some civilian employees got the haircuts as well, and that an email sent to officers in March didn't mention the grooming standards.

The site also quoted Woodbridge spokesman John Hagarty saying while the police department paid for the barber services, it had intended to seek reimbursement via Middlesex County, though the federal CARES coronavirus relief fund.

Barber shops and salons have been shuttered in New Jersey since March, when Gov. Phil Murphy issued executive orders closing down public-facing non-essential businesses in hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus. They'll be allowed to open Monday, under occupancy restrictions and regulations meant to limit unnecessary contact.

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Upon learning of the haircuts acting Middlesex County Prosecutor Christopher L. C. Kuberiet asked the Woodbridge Police Department to cease immediately, according to spokeswoman Andrea Boulton. She said no summonses have been issued.

"A Woodbridge Township business owner, after reading the NJ.com article, stepped-up and offered to reimburse the WPD – that businessman wishes to remain anonymous at this time,' Hagerty told New Jersey 101.5.

Officers and civilians paid $25 per cuts after that, Hargerty said.

When asked about the haircuts during Thursday's daily COVID-19 briefing Murphy said he was not aware of the situation.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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