Showing some ink: Henrico Police Officers now allowed to show tattoos on-duty, with some exceptions

Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Earlier this month, Henrico County Police Department updated their policies regarding grooming regulations for officers and now allow tattoos to be uncovered while on the job.

Previously, officers had to use sleeves to cover up exposed tattoos when on-duty.

The rules have been updated for officers and are defined below:

  • A tattoo is any design, letter, scroll, figure, symbol, or any other mark made under the skin or upon any person with ink or any other substances, resulting in a permanent or temporary discoloration of the skin.
  • A branding is type of scarification, a body modification that permanently transforms the skin by causing a visible scar, often made by burning.
  • Cosmetic tattoos such as eyeliner, eyebrows, and lips are permitted so long as they are natural in appearance.

But Henrico Police does list off some exceptions:

  • Tattoos and brandings on the head and face (front of a person’s head from the forehead to chin) shall be prohibited.
  • Tattoos and brandings that detract from the mission of law enforcement shall be prohibited. Prohibited tattoos and brandings include, but are not limited to, those which incorporate profanity; promote racism; discrimination; indecency; obscenity; lawlessness; violence; illegal drug use; hatred or intolerance; and depict sexually explicit or anatomically correct nude images.
  • The Chief has the authority to order personnel to cover tattoos deemed to be inconsistent with the mission of law enforcement. Members shall cover such tattoos with Division-issued clothing or by utilizing commercially available cosmetics or fabric covers made for the purpose of covering tattoos. If commercial products are used, they must be of a skin-tone color and be neutral in appearance. This policy shall apply while the member is on-duty (including training or outside events), representing the Division in an official capacity, or when engaged in law enforcement secondary employment; regardless of whether the member is in uniform or otherwise attired.

Henrico County Police Department is also hiring officers for the 74th Basic Police Academy and the application process is open through Jan. 4, 2021.


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