New tattoos banned for police officers...

I read an article on this morning regarding the Des Moines, Iowa police department prohibiting any future tattoos on their current officers and any new hires. Potentially narrowing out excellent officers from the hiring pool because they are inked. This article goes on about this new policy. The officers have filed a grievance saying it is "unreasonable". Any officers with visible tattoos will be photographed. I would presume so there won't be any sleeves being finished.

I can see both sides of this coin...

While I see the point of having the "powers that be" tell you what you can and can't have on your body and where is crossing some sort of fine line, however when you are in law enforcement those markings become almost a liability. If you have a tattoo of a clown on your forearm and you are working undercover in a Vice Unit that becomes a liability. Think about it... If you are on duty and a drug dealer sees your clown tattoo that is one thing, but if he recognizes you in plain clothes doing whatever you do off duty with your family that creates a problem. And one could imagine what would the end result would be.

Some departments also prohibit facial hair. I presume they want to maintain some sort of professionalism. I believe officers need to connect with the public. They aren't working in a suit and tie. They are dealing with criminals. To be quite frank, they need not to be impressed. If you have a mustache, beard or a goatee that's cool. That's who you are.

A problem I see is people are afraid of their officers. I remember growing up our cities officers had trading cards. Yes it's cheesy and I may be a little younger than most, but they were involved with the community.

I wish this was a simple topic, but our officers need to be able to live somewhat freely. They are not "owned" by the government. From what I understand the military has also implemented this [tattoo] rule too. While I am not sure of the reasonings for the military I totally understand for law enforcement.

I guess you just never know what you really will be when you grow up or what promotion will be coming up. So be mindful before you get inked, it could potentially cost you a career you have envisioned since your childhood.