Pennsylvania State Police loosens ban on trooper arm tattoos

  • The Associated Press

(Harrisburg) — Pennsylvania state troopers will now be allowed to have tattoos on their arms, but those who do will have to wear long-sleeved uniform shirts that conceal them when they are on duty, the agency announced Wednesday.

In a statement, Col. Robert Evanchick, the state police commissioner, said the policy change reflects an “evolving public perception” about tattoos. The agency hopes the new policy will widen its field of potential recruits.

“We want to recruit the most qualified candidates available. Department leadership recognized we were potentially missing out on a larger group of applicants because of our restrictive policy and after careful consideration, we revised it accordingly,” said Evanchick.

Tattoos that could be seen as hateful or discriminatory toward any race, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity are prohibited. A committee will review tattoos on prospective cadets during the hiring process.

“We are mindful that words and symbols can mean different things to different people,” said Evanchick. “Tattoos deemed detrimental to the mission and function of the Pennsylvania State Police remain prohibited.”

Before Wednesday’s announcement, troopers could have tattoos, as long as they were not visible to the public. Troopers still may not have tattoos that are above their neckline or below their wrist, the state police said.

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