PHOENIX, AZ – Police department tattoo policy is a hot topic right now. The New York Times recently ran an article on the Phoenix PD’s new policy on tattoos. Because of the intense Arizona heat, Phoenix police officers won’t be required to completely cover their tattoos as they are in many other departments. Starting August 28, officers will not be allowed to show tattoos or body markings on their arms larger than a 3×5 index card, and no tattoos can be visible on the face, neck or hands. The policy forbids tattoos that depict nudity, use vulgar language, or contain swastikas, pentagrams, K.K.K., SS or other offensive images or acronyms.
There are differing opinions within the department as to how officers with tattoos are perceived by the public. One 11-year veteran who has a full sleeve tattoo was quoted in the article saying “some people want nothing to do with me.” Another tattooed officer said that tattoos help her connect with the community. “It gives us a sense of humanity,” she said.