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  • Police with tattoos

    I see more of my fellow officers, (young ones), with tattoos that show and some look like tacky jailhouse tattoos. What is your departments attitude or rules about them?

  • #2
    You can have all the ink you want.....but NONE of it may be visible while in uniform......which means long sleeve shirts all year round for some folks
    The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

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    • #3
      Same as above. Some officers were trying to wear these fleshtone colored "sleeves" to disguise their arms when I retired, but I'm not sure if the department approved them. New applicants get the word upfront: No visible tats!
      "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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      • #4
        Our department allowed them for many years, but now the policy has changed and they are trying to enforce it for everyone. I don't really care, I don't have any.
        I am a Native American of non-Indian decent.

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        • #5
          Some suburban departments up here in northeast ohio require no visible ink while on duty while some require no visible ink in dress uniforms. My department has no regulation. Seems like more and more are regulating against it, but it just depends on the department up here.

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          • #6
            There is no regulation in my department. I wish there was because some officers go overboard with their ink
            "Don't play dumb with me, you're not as good at it as I am"

            Col Sam Flagg

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mannix View Post
              I see more of my fellow officers, (young ones), with tattoos that show and some look like tacky jailhouse tattoos. What is your departments attitude or rules about them?
              I see more and more of the younger guys with visible tattoos - and not just a few - full sleeves aren't uncommon. Also, more and more, the tats they get are what I would call "Jail-type" tats (spiderwebs on elbows, lots of skulls & deamons, the occational ink on the neck, etc...) I don't get it, but then I'm not them, to each his/her own...

              We had an old lady call 9-1-1 on her cell phone during a traffic stop - she didn't belive the cop was legit because he appeared to be a "hoodlum or ruffian". When asked why she would think that, she replied "Officers are supposed to be clean-cut, not looking like a sailor back from shore-leave"! Gotta love the old ladies

              That was about a year before our Department adopted a "No Visible Tattoo" policy. Long sleeves all year 'round, and you gotta cover up anything that the uniform misses.
              LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO DRINK CHEAP BEER!

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              • #8
                We just adopted a no visivle tats policy, is is not retro active. All officers with precious ink have to ducumnet their ink with photos and turn them in to the department head. This came shortly after a Sgt. got a large cross on his forearm when his Lt. started harassing him about a tribal biceps tat that he has had for about 5 years and was just barely peeking out below his shortly tailored short sleeve shirts. It is a tasteful tattoo (IMHO) in old english style with his only sons initials in the middle.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mannix View Post
                  I see more of my fellow officers, (young ones), with tattoos that show and some look like tacky jailhouse tattoos. What is your departments attitude or rules about them?
                  Here we go again with the tats, answer me this,what is the real problem with them? If they don't display nudity,profanity,or any other offensive gang related designs why not allow them? What about officers with beards or nasty looking uniforms,yellow teeth and so on. I find officers with poor attitudes towards fellow officers more offensive than tats, and yes I have many including two on my right forearm and one on my left,judge me if you want. I will still take a bullet for my partner tats and all.Lets worry more about the way the dept's being ran and how to make our jobs safer and teaching each other the basics on respect. I agree appreance is very important. I have found that my tats has been a tool if you will when it has come to talking down an angry husband, fella seen my tats and was like hey who does your work,suspect is now focused on me and my tats not his wife.Well we all have are own opinions this is mine.
                  Last edited by ofcp2; 08-23-2008, 08:44 PM. Reason: typo
                  Follow me!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by simplyacop View Post
                    There is no regulation in my department. I wish there was because some officers go overboard with their ink
                    Define overboard, you talking full sleeves,half sleeves what. Displaying to much ink for you. This is a new age no more old school. I would rather have an experienced tattooed partner than a burnt out old school partner just collecting a pay check,please I am not trying to start a war in here but these tattoo chats are getting old.
                    Follow me!

                    Let your conscience be your guide!

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                    • #11
                      My tattoo comes 1/4 to 1 inch (below my uniforn sleeve (short sleeve). I'll be damned if I'd wear long sleeves in the summer heat to cover up such a small portion of a very politically correct tat, just to avoid the off chance that someone would be offended. I'm fortunate to work for a department with no such policy.
                      No visible tat policy prior to hire...fine you want the job, you abide by the rules. Current officers should be done on a case by case basis, and as mentioned above if there is no offesive, or politically incorrect art what's the harm?

                      There is way way too much emphasis put on image in this profession, and unfortunately many in the ranking positions believe that our image is based on appearances, and not upon professional demeanor, and productivity. I have observed officers who looked quite neat in their uniforms be incompetant bags of sh*t w/terrible attitudes.
                      Conversly, I have observed an officer with bleached hair, and those funky large gaping piercings in both his ears, impress me with his professionalism, and demeanor. It was these attributes that allowed him to effctively deal with a heated dispute. This was a Nashville officer on 'COPS' some years ago. I'm sure most of you have seen it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CUFFS137 View Post
                        There is way way too much emphasis put on image in this profession, and unfortunately many in the ranking positions believe that our image is based on appearances, and not upon professional demeanor, and productivity.
                        It's an unfortunate fact of life that the in year 2008, "appearance is reality." Sorry, but three small dot's on the web of one's hand gives the public and cops ("in the know") that the one with the tattoos believes in living, "La Vida Loca."

                        What's art to you and the local wife beater, might not be looked at with the same respect by the neighborhood banker, housewife or retiree who's sitting on the jury evaluating your testimony on the witness stand. It's sad fact of life that sometimes well dressed, sharp looking cops are stupid, lazy or incompetent, but it doesn't excuse the rest of us from looking professional to broadest segment of the population as possible.

                        I'm sure there's a ton of professional cops out there with tats and I've worked with many of them, but they've got to keep their "art" to themselves for the good of the organization.
                        "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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                        • #13
                          No regs for our PD. Tattoo's are a huge cultural thing around here, hard to regulate that. However I do agree on the good taste thing but that is just my own opinion. Personally, I have several tattoo's however I will not show anything that can't be covered by a short sleeve uniform class A top and pant.
                          The comments made herein are those solely of author and in no way reflect the opinions of any other person, agency or other entity.

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                          • #14
                            I have a barber pole tattoo, it varies in size depending on what mood I am in, do think that it will be a problem?

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                            • #15
                              I thought it was a sleeping green snake?
                              "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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