Columbus, OH Police ban visible officer tattoos

Fluffy126577

New Member
May 24, 2010
721
Toledo, OH
I personally don't think that they make an officer unprofessional. But I will say that it is a good idea. It's one less thing the general public will be inclined to complain about if for some odd reason they don't like the officer or so on.


Also, if you going to get a tattoo and you know your going into a field where your going to be judged by the public, be cognitive of where it's going and what it is. I have seen officers who have tattoos on their arms and it's like, "Dude! What were you thinking!!"
 

03crownvic

Member
May 8, 2010
1,033
Louisiana
When I was a teenager (about 40 years ago), I got a speeding ticket from a deputy sheriff who had a very visible naked lady tattoo on his arm, plus he had some white paint splatter on his fingers like he had been painting his house before he went to work that day. Even though I was that young, I thought it was very odd and even a bit cheesy. I can just imagine what a lady would think about that tattoo these days.
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
I'm all for covering them up. Right, wrong or indifferent, the silent majority of the people we work for, those that pay their taxes, aren't ready for cops with full sleeve tats, or spiderwebs on their neck, or a teardrop for each DUI they snare. If you just have to express your individuality, a uniformed profession isn't the place to start.


As long as the vest is on, I don't care what a cop has on under the uniform, but what the public sees, the public owns.


It's really rough for the (non-Marines) who got tatted up in the service, and are now looking for LE jobs. And those whacky kids today need to think about the future before they put ink to skin - it's hard to pull a DEA stint in South America when you have Old Glory on your arm.
 

ccsobaker

Member
Jul 4, 2010
226
Central Arkansas
I don't have a problem with it, I have a large tattoo on my left forearm I got when I was younger. I knew from the moment I decided on law enforcement that out would not fly. Yeah it's annoying to have to put on a sleeve everyday before work, but it's a small price to pay for a job I love.
 

Doug

Member
May 23, 2010
1,151
Maryland
Anne Arundel County, MD, had a rule requiring the officers to cover them, effective June 22, 2007. Their rule is quoted as covering any "tattoos, body art and 'body mutilation'". According to the Department's web site, it has since been rescinded.
 

dustymedic

Member
May 21, 2010
633
Columbus,OH
An ambulance service I used to work at required employees with tattoos on their arms to wear long sleeve shirts year round to cover them up..
 

rick h.

Member
May 21, 2010
1,377
Green Bank WV.
Charleston WV. just had a write up in the newspaper concerning this . No new hires will have tats and anyOfficer already working will have to wear long sleeve shirts
 

rwo978

Member
May 21, 2010
5,196
ND, USA
My dept hasn't allowed visible tats for quite a while. No earrings, nose rings, piercings in any other visible area, and no goatees or facial hair besides a mustache.
 

Ben E.

Member
May 21, 2010
2,417
Iowa, USA
I don't mind an arm band poking out below your sleeve or whatever, or a couple small ones on the arm that are entirely visible, but some people will tattoo some dumb shit on themselves, and that's where I think they should draw the line. Both of the departments I work for don't have tattoo policies, but I think there's only one officer that has a tattoo anyway, and it's an arm band that you can barely see below his short sleeve.
 
Jul 14, 2010
1,639
S.W. Ohio USA
Ben E. said:
I don't mind an arm band poking out below your sleeve or whatever, or a couple small ones on the arm that are entirely visible, but some people will tattoo some dumb shit on themselves, and that's where I think they should draw the line. Both of the departments I work for don't have tattoo policies, but I think there's only one officer that has a tattoo anyway, and it's an arm band that you can barely see below his short sleeve.

I agree. It isn't the guy with the "barely visible" tat poking out of his sleeve every once in a while. It is the guys that have to push the envelope and go overboard with it. Before I retired, we had a guy sleeve one arm, then started on another, and THEN informed the chief he planned on putting one on his neck. Needless to say, THAT went over like a fart in church, and "inky" got the privilege of wearing long sleeved shirts year 'round.


Of course the policy changed, and he made it hard on everyone else. I made sure when I got my tat it would be covered by our short sleeved uniform shirts. I actually don't mind tattoos, but as a sergeant, when I started receiving calls from Joe Taxpayer about "that officer who looks like a thug", it was not pleasant. And believe me, the old timer sergeant who had to start covering the faded lady on his forearm from his Navy days made "The Inkster's" life miserable!
 

RL1

Member
May 20, 2010
1,649
Ga
On my shift, 2 of the 5 of us have tat's, all of which are covered in uniform. However, we have a sgt with a spiderweb on his elbow and several other designs on his arms that look like he got them in jail. Another guy has one full and one half sleeve that don't look that bad (nothing offensive, mostly tribal designs), though he gets some odd looks from people on the street sometimes. I love how our command wants to make the officer cover up his tats but will let the sgt look like he's about to do a drive-by. IMO, do like the Marines did a few years ago; allow people with visible ink to keep the tats they already have without a problem unless the commander deems them offensive, but ban all members from getting more that can be seen.
 

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