Broken Arrow Police Stand By 'No Visible Tattoos' Requirement
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - A recent change to the written policy at the Broken Arrow Police Department could turn away potential candidates. Anyone interested in joining the force will not be hired if they have any visible tattoos.
"Basically, our policy states you can't have any visible tattoos, in a nutshell," said Corporal Leon Calhoun.
Calhoun said they haven't allowed visible tattoos on the department for a few years now, but that it came to the forefront recently when they changed the wording in their policy.
"We were actually in the process of looking for officers to hire," Calhoun said.
With the new language, the department made it clear to potential recruits with tattoos on the forearm, wrist or neck that they wouldn't be considered for a job.
"We want professional uniformity, we believe that most of our citizens, at least many, view visible tattoos as being unprofessional," Calhoun said.
The department said the changes to the written policy were meant to make the rules more defined and that officers on the department who have visible tattoos are grand fathered in.
"Even those officers, if they have it visible somewhere like on a forearm, they have to wear an Ace bandage," Leon said.
Corporal Calhoun said the department believes the more professional an officer looks, the more likely they are to receive cooperation while out on patrol, and that they understand some good candidates may get turned away, because of their policy.
Tulsa Police put a similar policy in place in 2005.
Any officer who had a tattoo before the policy went into effect is fine, but if they got it after 2005, they have to cover it up.
However, they say they wouldn't turn away any potential candidates because of visible tattoos.