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LAFD asks for public input on tattoos and appearance

The department asked citizens for their thoughts, in a survey, on tattoos as they consider changing the current policy


Los Angeles Fire Department/Facebook

By Bill Carey

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Fire Department is reconsidering its policy on tattoos and has asked the public to provide their thoughts on the matter in a Facebook post.

In the post, the department provided a link to a survey and the current policy on tattoos. Over 15 years ago, the department developed a policy that required all members to cover their tattoos, branding, and/or scarification, regardless of where they were located on a member’s body. The reasoning behind the policy was that displaying tattoos may be perceived by the public as unprofessional.

The department currently does not hire any new firefighters who may have tattoos that are not able to be covered by a Band-Aid, skin patch, Under Armor material, or long sleeve shirt.

The current policy states, “All sworn members, while on duty, shall not display any tattoos, scarification and/or brandings.” The policy further states, “Sworn uniformed members shall cover any visible tattoos, scarifications, and/or brandings by wearing a Department approved uniform or skin patch.” This requires members to wear long sleeve shirts at all times, regardless of the climate if members have tattoos on their arms.

The department stated that online discussion about the policy change is welcomed but the survey replies will be what is reviewed regarding a policy change.

The survey is open until Oct. 6, 2023.