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  1. #1
    Pudge's Avatar
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    Des Moines Police Ban New Tattoos

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,379203,00.html

    DES MOINES, Iowa Some of Des Moines' finest have to go more undercover after the department adopted a policy restricting body art.
    The policy now says any tattoos, branding and intentional scarring on the face, head, neck, hands, exposed arms and legs are prohibited. Employees who already have tattoos are exempt but they must provide photographs of their existing tattoos.
    Des Moines' police union says the policy is unreasonable and has filed a grievance.
    Stewart Barnes, president of the union, said the policy could narrow the potential pool of eligible officers.
    "If you know that for the rest of your career you are going to have to wear a long-sleeved shirt or have your tattoos removed, you might think twice about applying for the job," he said.
    Des Moines Police Chief Judy Bradshaw said tattoos distract from a professional image. She added that the department doesn't allow beards, either.
    Chris Morgan, a West Des Moines police officer and former U.S. Marine, knows first-hand what it feels like to have to wear a long-sleeved shirt when it's 90 degrees outside to cover the tattoos on his forearms.

    "I get so hot out there when I'm directing traffic," Morgan said. "I've sweated through my shirt and my vest."
    In November, the Sioux City police department adopted a policy that says officers cannot get new tattoos on exposed body areas. New job candidates are allowed to have tattoos on exposed skin, but they can't get new ones after they're hired.
    "We don't allow beards, either," Sioux City Lt. Marti Reilly said. "But we can ask them to shave those off. It's different with a tattoo."
    In Ames, the policy says that officers and other employees hired after May 1, 2004, cannot have tattoos visible while in uniform, but those hired before the date are exempt, said Cmdr. Jim Robinson.
    Barnes, the Des Moines police union president, said his tattoos sometimes help with his job by providing a common ground with young people.
    "They come up to me and talk to me about tattoos," the 48 year old said.
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  2. #2
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Sounds like her chiefness has her panties in a bunch.
    I'm your huckleberry...

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    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


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  3. #3
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    That's pretty common here in New York. Officers with existing tattoos are grandfathered in, but new hires cannot have tattoos that would show when wearing the short sleeve uniform. I don't see much of a problem with it.
    "never bring paws to a gunfight" - Jenna

  4. #4
    JLK's Avatar
    JLK
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    I have a big problem with it. to me it doesn't appear unprofessional. some say its intimidating, so. the more we intimidated the less we have to go hands on.
    to say someone can not express themselves through body art is wrong. it has been taken to court before and sadly to say the courts have ruled in favor of the employers. but that don't make it right. its that dang calea crap. non police tell police how to do their job all nicey nice. wonder why there is a massive jump in crime.


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  5. #5
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vengeance05 View Post
    That's pretty common here in New York. Officers with existing tattoos are grandfathered in, but new hires cannot have tattoos that would show when wearing the short sleeve uniform. I don't see much of a problem with it.
    Coincidentally, New York is having trouble attracting candidates as well.

    Seems like they ought to be more worried about drug use, lying, and thieving than body art.

    I know an NYPD officer with purple hair.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
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  6. #6
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    And this is why I made sure all my tats are above the sleeve line. I don't agree with this but it is what it is.

  7. #7
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Mine are all hidden by a short sleeve shirt because the military requires it.

    After February of 2009, I will re-evaluate that decision.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  8. #8
    213th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    Mine are all hidden by a short sleeve shirt because the military requires it.

    After February of 2009, I will re-evaluate that decision.
    Same here...I think. I honestly haven't but on my short sleeve blue shirt since I got my arm tat, so it might show just a little bit, but I believe it's actually no more then 25% of exposed skin while in short sleeves
    He who has the money, signs the cheques.
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  9. #9
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    This one does rub me the wrong way a little. I believe that we should all be judged by our actions, not prejudged on appearance. My department I believe has policy prohibiting both visible tattoos and beards. The connotation attached to both is that the person having them is not professional. I say that it can go both ways. I have witnessed officers both with and without the aforementioned items that I would be happy to have back me up and others I want to stay away from as far as possible. The old saying should be brought to mind when these administrators make the policies:

    You can't judge a book by it's cover.
    Romans 8:28-31

    "Anima Sana In Corpore Sano"

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  10. #10
    Xiphos's Avatar
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    What's the point of a uniform if uniformity can't be met?
    Pleasing nobody, one person at a time.

    That which does not kill me, better start fucking running.

    If I lived every day like it was my last, the body count would be staggering.

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  11. #11
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    I don't think tattoos would necessarily make an officer look unprofessional, unless they were obscene or bizarre. But maybe a uniform rule against new tattoos prevents supervisors from being sued for discrimination for making judgment calls about what tattoos are too obscene or bizarre (e.g. if they say a crucifix is okay but a picture of Satan is not okay).

  12. #12
    jcsdscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiphos View Post
    What's the point of a uniform if uniformity can't be met?
    Excellent question, however uncomfortable it may be for some to say uniformity is on it's way out. The new generation that is coming forth is into self expression, focus on the individual and believes any type of rule that forces conformity is unfair. They believe that they deserve to look and dress how they wish because that is who they are. Have you looked at some of the young ones that work at your local fast food chains? Those regulations don't get followed. I've seen it in my own church even. As a teenager if not in a uniform (usherboard or choir) I wore suits. It was instilled at an early age in me the concept of wearing your "Sunday Best". Though I believe all should come as they are it is a different arena from law enforcement. I don't believe this issue will go away anytime soon.
    Romans 8:28-31

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  13. #13
    mack's Avatar
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    I agree, I enjoy seeing body art, it's interesting and individual. I know one officer where I worked did get harrassed by the inmates cause of a tattoo he had on his neck, but another officer at another agency started a tat in honor of a fallen officer before their policy went into affect, it wasn't finished and he had to get permission to finish it. It was a full sleeve tat and was featured on Miami Inked. It is absolutely beautiful.

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  14. #14
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiphos View Post
    What's the point of a uniform if uniformity can't be met?
    Rapid identification as a police officer.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  15. #15
    Cool Breeze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    Coincidentally, New York is having trouble attracting candidates as well.
    I think that has more to do with the 22,000 dollar a year salary and the 60,000 dollar a year cost of living.

 

 

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