7.30 PROHIBITION OF TATTOOS, PIERCINGS, MUTILATIONS, OR ORNAMENTATION

7.30.1  PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to maintain a professional appearance of all employees while on duty and to foster the public’s trust and confidence in the Department and its employees.

7.30.2  DEFINITIONS

  1. Tattoo: Includes any tattoo, scaring, branding, mark, mutilation or intentional alteration or modification either temporary or permanent deliberately placed on the body for the purpose of decoration, ornamentation, or adornment.
  2. Piercing: Foreign objects inserted through or under the skin or other body parts to include earrings to create a design or pattern.
  3. Mutilation: Is considered extreme and is defined as the intentional radical alteration for any non-medical reason of the body, head, face, neck, arms, hands or skin for the purpose of and or resulting in an abnormal appearance.
  4. Scarification—The act of intentional cutting of the skin for the purpose of creating a design, form, figure or art.
  5. Branding—The act of intentional burning of the skin for the purpose of creating a design, form, figure or art.
  6. Ornamentation:  The application of dental veneers or caps for the purpose of creating a design or appearance for any non-medical reason.  Red, silver, orange, and other unnatural colored contact lens or colors when worn that create an unnatural eye color, and contact lens or eyeglasses with graphic designs.
  7. Dermal piercing: Also known as micro dermal piercing or single point piercing are piercings installed on flat surfaces of the body. However, dermal piercings are different from surface piercings in that the latter has entry and exit points for the jewelry, just like any other regular body piercing. In dermal piercing, only one end is visible on the surface of the skin. The other end is embedded in the dermal layer of the skin. This gives the appearance of having small beads on the surface of the skin.
  8. Visible:  Defined as easily seen while wearing the standard issued short sleeve uniform shirt, short sleeve dress/casual shirt or short pants while standing in an upright position, and also includes being visible through clothing.
  9. Exposed arm: Defined as visible below the sleeve length of the uniform short sleeve shirt or visible below the sleeve length of a summer shirt worn by sworn, non-uniformed employees and non-sworn employees.

7.30.3 POLICY

The policy of this Department is to maintain the highest standards of professional appearance through the prohibition of the public display of tattoos, body mutilation, or alteration and ornamental piercings while on duty unless such display is required in the performance of their official duties.

  1. The policy shall apply while any employee is on duty (including training, off-site training, conferences, seminars or any outside special events, festivals, extra-duty employment, etc.) or whenever representing the Department in any official capacity. This includes all sworn employees regardless of whether the employee is in uniform or not, unless exempted under the provisions of this policy.
  2. Employees are prohibited at all times from displaying any tattoo/ branding/ intentional scarring/piercing/mutilation/dermal piercing whether temporary or permanent while on duty.
  3. Employees traveling to and from work on or off duty wearing their issued full or partial uniform in any form are prohibited at all times from displaying any tattoo/branding/ intentional scarring/ piercing/mutilation/dermal piercing whether temporary or permanent.
  4. Tattoos/brandings/intentional scarring/piercings/mutilations/dermal piercings are not permitted in a visible location on the neck, face, mouth, lips, head, ears, scalp, and exposed arms/legs of any employee.
  5. Examples of prohibited intentional mutilation/dermal piercing include: split or forked tongues; foreign objects inserted under the skin to create a design or pattern; enlarged or stretched out holes in the ears (other than normal piercing); and intentional scarring on neck, face, or scalp; or intentional burns creating a design or pattern.
  6. Employees are prohibited at all times from attaching, affixing or displaying objects, articles, jewelry or ornamentation to or through the ear (except normal piercing of the earlobe), nose, tongue, eye brows, lips or any exposed body part (or an area visible through the uniform)that is visible during duty hours or any duty-related function, with the exception of earrings permitted for civilian female personnel.
  7. Any sworn fire or police employee who has a tattoo, branding/intentional scarring/ piercing/mutilation/dermal piercing must wear at all times the appropriate issued uniform shirt or pants or long sleeve shirt/long sleeve firefighter station t-shirt or trouser that prevents the viewing of any a tattoo, branding/intentional scarring/piercing/ mutilation/dermal piercing while on duty. Any sworn fire or police employee below the rank of Fire Battalion Chief/Division Chief and below the rank of Police Lieutenant may exercise the OPTION listed under section I below and be in compliance with policy.
  8. Any civilian employee who has a tattoo, branding/intentional scarring/piercing/ mutilation/dermal piercing must wear at all times the appropriate long sleeve shirt/blouse or pants/slacks that prevents the viewing of any tattoo, branding/intentional scarring/ piercing/mutilation/dermal piercing while on duty. Employees may exercise the OPTION listed under Section I below and be in compliance with policy.
  9. OPTION: The use of neoprene type sleeves or any similar material or device is authorized or approved for employees to prevent the viewing of any tattoo, branding/intentional scarring/piercing/mutilation/dermal piercing on the employee’s arms while on duty under the following conditions:
    1. Employees must seek approval from the Director of Public Safety via the chain of command prior to donning the sleeve.
    2. The employee will be responsible for purchasing their own sleeve.
    3. The sleeve must be made of nylon or spandex. If working in a fire capacity, it is recommended employees remove the sleeve before donning fire gear to prevent injury. If the employee does so, they must not remove their bunker gear jacket until they have a cover available to prevent the viewing of any a tattoo, branding/intentional scarring/ piercing/ mutilation/ dermal piercing.
    4. The sleeve must be a skin tone color that closely matches the employee’s skin tone.
    5. he sleeve cannot have any visual markings, lettering, logos, symbols, insignia, print, images, tags, patterns, designs, etc.
    6. The sleeve must be clean and serviceable at all times.
    7. Employees who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action and will no longer be allowed to wear a sleeve.
    8. Reminder – Employees will still have the option to wear long sleeve shirts, if they choose.
  10. The options listed above under Section I are not approved/authorized for any employee representing our Department inside or outside our Department in any official capacity at formal events such as promotions, awards ceremonies, funerals, etc.
  11. The options listed above under Section I are not approved/authorized for any employee representing our Department inside or outside our Department in any form or fashion as an instructor, range master, panelist, presenter, lecturer, hiring or promotional panelist/assessor, etc.
  12. All employees will be required at all times to cover all their tattoos/brandings/ intentional scarring /piercings/mutilations/dermal piercings while engaged in courtroom proceeding or testimony.The options listed above under Section I are not approved/authorized or applicable for courtroom testimony. Officers assigned to courtroom security are permitted to exercise the options outlined in Section I above as long as they are not called or required to testify in any courtroom proceeding or testimony.
  13. A tattoo/branding/intentional scarring/piercing/mutilation/dermal piercing may also be covered through the use of a skin tone patch no larger than 2” x 2” in size, make-up, or may be removed at the employee’s expense. If the employee elects to cover up a tattoo/branding/intentional scarring/piercing/mutilation or dermal piercing with the use of a skin tone patch no larger than 2” x 2” in size or make-up, the employee shall ensure the tattoo/branding/intentional scarring/ piercing / mutilation or dermal piercing remains covered at all times while on-duty, NO EXCEPTIONS.
  14. In addition, employees hired after May 11, 2011 that have a tattoo/ branding/intentional scarring/piercing/mutilation/dermal piercing on their legs will be precluded from an assignment that requires the wearing of shorts. Employees hired prior to May 11, 2011 that have a tattoo/branding/intentional scarring/piercing/mutilation/dermal piercing on their legs will be required to wear long pants at all times while working assignments that permit officers without tattoo/branding/intentional scarring/piercing/ mutilation/ dermal piercing to wear Department issued shorts. Wearing a skin tone neoprene style cover to prevent the viewing of any tattoo/ branding/intentional scarring/piercing/ mutilation/ dermal piercing, etc. on the employee’s legs is strictly prohibited.
  15. An officer assigned to conduct undercover operations may temporarily display a tattoo, piercing, mutilation, or ornamentation that can be removed at the conclusion of any undercover operation. Non-uniformed or plainclothes assignments are not the same as undercover.
  16. Contact lenses, if worn on duty, shall be in a natural eye color. Red, orange, silver and other unnaturally colored contact lenses, or colors when worn that create an unnatural eye color, and contact lenses with graphic designs of any kind are prohibited.
  17. The use of gold, platinum, or other veneers or caps for purposes of dental ornamentation is prohibited. For purposes of this policy, ornamentation includes decorative veneers or caps. Teeth, whether natural, capped, or veneered, will not be ornamented with designs, jewels, initials, etc. This does not include caps or fillings used for commonly accepted medical or dental purposes.