Should police officers display tattoos? Massachusetts department considers allowing them

Credit: Methuen Police Department

Credit: Methuen Police Department

Massachusetts police department is considering loosening restrictions on officers displaying tattoos.

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It has long been departmental policy in Methuen that officers should cover tattoos, but that could be changing.

The Methuen Police Department has opened a survey for residents asking for the community's opinion about officers displaying tattoos.

"Times change and our agency believes change can be good," the department wrote in a Facebook post. "The Methuen Police Patrolman Association has been in discussions with the department to update and modify the policy to reflect the community standards of today's society. In the past tattoos were seen as by many as unprofessional or frowned upon. Today, ink art has become more socially acceptable and for many people tells a story about who a person is and where they come from."

The department said the new policy will open up their positions to more applicants who may have felt or been ineligible.

The department cited other cities around the country like Pittsburgh, Houston and Austin, which have all loosened their restrictions on tattoos.

"Our new policy proposal would affect tattoos from the short sleeve line down to the wrists or visible on the legs. No neck tattoos or hand tattoos are permitted unless approved by the Chief of Police or his designee," the department said in a Facebook post.

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