LocalSYR

Police department in Oklahoma turns away recruits with tattoos

A recent change in policy at the Broken Arrow Police Department in Oklahoma could turn away potential candidates.
(ABC) -- A recent change in policy at the Broken Arrow Police Department in Oklahoma could turn away potential candidates.

Anyone interested in joining the force will not be hired if they have any visible tattoos. It's a decision that has recently come under fire in Broken Arrow.

Corporal Leon Calhoun says they've haven't allowed visible tattoos on the department for a few years now, but it came to the forefront recently when they changed the wording in their policy.

The department made it clear to potential recruits with tattoos -- like those with tattoos on the forearm, wrist or neck -- that they wouldn't be considered for a job. Officials say they believe most citizens view tattoos as unprofessional.

The department says the changes in policy were to make the rules more defined and that officers on the department who have visible tattoos are grandfathered in. But the officers who are grandfathered in will have to wear something to cover the tattoo if it's visible.

Corporal Calhoun says the department believes the more professional an officer looks, the more likely they are to receive cooperation while out on patrol.

But they understand some good candidates may get turned away because of their policy.

Tulsa Police put a similar policy in place in 2005, but say they wouldn't turn away any potential candidates because of visible tattoos.
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