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Arlington amends tattoo policy to recruit, retain officers

Arlington amends tattoo policy to recruit, retain officers
Arlington amends tattoo policy to recruit, retain officers 00:23

ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Arlington police officers no longer have to hide their ink, after the department announced a change to its tattoo policy Monday, May 16. 

"We hope this will not only enhance our employees' quality of work life, but will also mean that APD won't miss out on well-qualified applicants who may not have been keen on working here because they'd have to wear long sleeves / pants during the warmest parts of the year to cover their tattoos," the department shared via Facebook. 

It also relaxed rules about facial hair, saying employees will be allowed to grow and display facial hair within certain guidelines.

"If this policy change helps us improve our employees' work experience, while also helping us recruit additional quality employees, then we see this as progress."

Unlike Arlington, the Dallas Police Department has a tattoo policy in place that's pretty specific. Any body art (tattoos or brands) deemed offensive aren't allowed. And if an officer has tattoos, they must cover them by a long sleeved uniform shirt. Ink on the head, scalp, face, neck, hands or fingers will prevent you from getting hired. 

Irving Police officer with tattoo  Irving Police Department

Back in 2018, the Irving Police Department changed it tattoo policy, allowing arm and leg ink on uniformed police officers to remain visible. 

"You go to our recruiting events and 60-70% of everybody coming through the door these days has some form of art work," Irving Police Chief Jeff Spivey told CBS11 News.

At the time, Chief Spivey said the change in policy reflected modern day societal norms that no longer consider tattoos to be taboo. "Tattoos doesn't change the professionalism of the man or woman answering that call for service," he said.

He said relaxing the tattoo policy would not only attract new candidates to the department, but keep those already on the force who will no longer have to conceal their body art.

"We hire people based upon their character, based upon their integrity, based upon their ability to do the job the way we've trained them to do."

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