Can Police Officers Have Tattoos?

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Police officers may have tattoos in many jurisdictions. Nationally, however, law enforcement agencies are shying away from hiring candidates with visible body art. Those officers already employed are often required to cover tattoos when on duty, according to a 2013 article in the Sun Sentinel.

Sunrise, Florida police spokesman Sgt. Hailey explains that certain types of tattoos are not allowed, even if they do not show while wearing a uniform. These include tattoos depicting racist, hateful, subversive or gang-related images. Some agencies also restrict the size of a tattoo regardless of the subject matter. Tattoos that cover more than 25 percent of the arm are considered excessive by some chiefs.