With officer tattoos debated, Butler County’s sheriff talks about his 4: ‘I changed my mind’

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones shows two of four tattoos he received in the past three years. LAUREN PACK/STAFF
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Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones shows two of four tattoos he received in the past three years. LAUREN PACK/STAFF

As Butler County law enforcement agencies debate allowing officers to show their tattoos while on duty, interviews by the Journal-News have shown that the decision to get a tattoo is a very personal one for those officers, deputies and others.

Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones is among them.

Jones has four tattoos that he added later in life. He never permitted his son and daughter to get tattoos and had no desire to ink himself. But the 65-year-old changed is mind three years ago.

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“Not sure why. I changed my mind. I raised hell with my kids for years telling them ‘no tattoos.’ Really surprised them,” he said with a laugh.

Jones said he researched tattoo artists. He took his short sleeve uniform shirt with him to make sure the tattoos were not visible.

Jones has a barbed wire that circles his arm with “Carpe Diem” above it, and on the other arm he has a U.S. Army Combat Engineer logo with a castle symbol. He also has a tattoo of his sheriff’s badge over his heart.

“I am very patriotic and I am proud to serve,” Jones said.

The Journal-News talked to the sheriff this week about area police agencies tattoo policies and changes there are being considered.

“We have evolved in our policy, ” Jones said.

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