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Somewhat ambiguous tattoo policy: when/how to ask for clarification?

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  • Somewhat ambiguous tattoo policy: when/how to ask for clarification?

    My husband is due to leave the service in the Spring, but will start terminal leave before then. He's been sending out applications everywhere and has been able to start the hiring process (written/physical test) for a few departments already. He has two forearm tattoos (a 9 inch long, 1 inch tall line of Latin Scripture, and a 7 inch tall cross with his granddad's name on dog tags wrapped around it).

    The departments in the area we'd like to end up represent the full gamut of tattoo policies, ranging from tattoos seemingly being a non-issue (provided they're not blatantly offensive) to tattoos basically not allowed (unless they're super inconspicuously located...like, on the inside of the upper thigh or on the bottom of the foot or something).

    Some of the these departments, however, have a somewhat more ambiguous policy: no visible tattoos while in a standard issue short sleeve uniform. While a few do explicitly state that such tattoos may be covered with flesh-colored patches or wraps and/or make-up, some don't go on to clarify as much, and some say that long sleeve uniforms are not an option. Would it be splitting hairs to assume that if such tattoos were rendered invisible (by way of a tat jacket, specifically) there would be no violation of the department's policy?

    Additionally, at what point during the hiring process would it be appropriate for my husband to inquire about this? I'd hate for him to go through all the time and trouble to get on with a department, only to be told that by "no visible tattoos" they actually mean "no tattoos in an area not covered by the uniform." I also know he doesn't wish to seem as though he's just thumbing his nose at the rules by going through the hiring process while keeping his tattoos covered until he can find out for sure what the specifics of their policies are/build a good rapport. Should he just call each department and ask for clarification before going any further? With whom should he speak when calling to make sure he's getting the most accurate answer?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    What those policies probably mean is that if the tattoo can be seen while wearing a standard issue uniform, they are out of compliance with policy and you will be DQ'd. A tatjacket is not part of the uniform and, be definition, is not to be worn. Some depts allow visible ink, some let you wear long sleeves all year, some let you wrap them or cover them up, and some will tell you "no thanks" because a cover up/long sleeve is not an option.

    He needs to ask before he even picks up an application. He can speak with a recruiter or someone who does BIs.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the input--I'll pass it along.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by voicimonnom View Post

        Some of the these departments, however, have a somewhat more ambiguous policy: no visible tattoos while in a standard issue short sleeve uniform.
        There is nothing ambiguous about that . It states NO, repeat NO tattoo's viable when in a short sleeve uniform. If that is the way it is stated -----that is what they mean.


        Originally posted by voicimonnom View Post


        While a few do explicitly state that such tattoos may be covered with flesh-colored patches or wraps and/or make-up, some don't go on to clarify as much, and some say that long sleeve uniforms are not an option.
        Read what the policy states....................... if wraps or coverups are allowed --------they are allowed.

        if they don't clarify----the probably do not allow coverups.



        [QUOTE=voicimonnom;3580426]Would it be splitting hairs to assume that if such tattoos were rendered invisible (by way of a tat jacket, specifically) there would be no violation of the department's policy? [/qupte]

        Don't assume anything. Call the agency and ask. usually those types of policies are pretty much self explanatory.

        Originally posted by voicimonnom View Post
        Additionally, at what point during the hiring process would it be appropriate for my husband to inquire about this?
        Before you apply...............why waste your time or the time of the agency if you don't meet the qualifications
        Originally posted by voicimonnom View Post



        I'd hate for him to go through all the time and trouble to get on with a department, only to be told that by "no visible tattoos" they actually mean "no tattoos in an area not covered by the uniform." I also know he doesn't wish to seem as though he's just thumbing his nose at the rules by going through the hiring process while keeping his tattoos covered until he can find out for sure what the specifics of their policies are/build a good rapport. Should he just call each department and ask for clarification before going any further? With whom should he speak when calling to make sure he's getting the most accurate answer?

        Thanks!
        Ask
        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

        Comment


        • #5
          OK, no real mystery(s) here. Take another look at what my colleague's have told you. As usual, it's 100% accurate information. The specific policy on tats will vary from agency to agency. For instance, my Agency, at the very minimum would require a Trooper to wear long sleeve shirts all year long.

          So do a little research. Best of luck to you and your husband.

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          • #6
            It did seem like a bit of a linguistic tap dance or twist in reasoning, but I just wanted to see if it was usually a rigidly enforced disqualifier (if being married to a member of the service for the last several years has taught me anything, it's that certain regulations mean about as much as your chain of command wants them to mean), and make sure there weren't sometimes unwritten caveats (particularly since I read that stringent tattoo policies have been implemented only relatively recently for some departments).

            Thanks again for the additional insight, I'll pass the rest along as well.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by voicimonnom View Post
              (if being married to a member of the service for the last several years has taught me anything, it's that certain regulations mean about as much as your chain of command wants them to mean), and make sure there weren't sometimes unwritten caveats (particularly since I read that stringent tattoo policies have been implemented only relatively recently for some departments). .
              The first think you need to know and remember is that being in the military is NOTHING LIKE being in law enforcement.
              Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

              My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

              Comment


              • #8
                You err when you compare the LE policies you term "ambiguious " to military regs. Let me"splain". If memory serves me correctly, local commanding officers (base commanders) etc still possess considerable authority to establish and implement policies for their respective commands, and it's possible that you, (your spouse) have experienced some variance(s) here.

                OTH, Tatoo policies established by specific Law Enforcement agencies, whether yesterday, or twenty years ago, are in general, very specific, considered agency policy, and enforced across the board. No ambiguity in other words. Soooo, your spouse would be well advised to research the specific tatoo policy of any agency he applies to. Once again, good luck.

                Comment

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