Columbus, Ohio, has decided to enforce a rule that police officers should not display tattoos on their head, neck, or hands. They should not have any tattoos of questionable taste and should not add any that are “visible on any exposed body part.” Some officers are unhappy about it, reports the Columbus Dispatch. “A lot of us had tattoos when we came on,” said one, who said there was moor morale generally in the department. “Is it really that big of a problem?”
Many police departments have put similar rules in place in recent years. In Georgia, Savannah-Chatham Police Chief Willie Lovett told the Savannah Morning News last month that, although he can appreciate the artistry of a good tattoo, “This isn’t an art gallery, it’s a police department.” To cover their now-improper tattoos, some Columbus officers donned long-sleeved shirts despite the heat. Others have employed strategically wrapped Ace bandages. Another option is the Tatjacket, a nylon and spandex sleeve that comes in various sizes and colors. The company’s motto: “Because You Love Your Ink, But Your Boss Doesn’t.” The Tatjacket was the brainchild of Howard Horwitz, a full-time police officer in southern California.