Monday, October 20, 2008

Corpus Christi Cops Ordered to Cover Tattoos


There are many reasons why person may decide to have a tattoo inked into his or her skin as a permanent body decoration. Angelina Jolie has the coordinates for the birth locations of each of her children on her arm. Many men want to show their eternal dedication to MOM, often in conjunction with a sword or skull of some sort. Sometimes a great romantic relationship inspires such artwork, and also can result in an expensive and painful removal process. If you have chosen a tattoo as a form of personal expression and you are a member of the Corpus Christi police force, you will now be required to hide your dyed skin while protecting the citizens of that fine city.

Starting November 1, officers will need to cover all tattoos, including those not already covered by the standard long-sleeve shirts that come as part of the uniform. So, if you see a Corpus Christi cop with a large bandage on his neck for an extended period of time, a strong assumption can be made that he is hiding the result of a very brave evening spent in a tattoo chair. The decision for this policy change stemmed from concerned citizens who were unsure if the tattooed guy pulling them over for speeding was really a member of law enforcement. Police Chief Bryan Smith said that he is striving to increase the "level of professionalism perceived by the public."

The Corpus Christi Police Officers Association does not have any disagreement with the policy in general. However, the president of the organization, Sgt. Mike Staff, would like to see a grandfather clause enacted for those already on the force. He provides the example of former members of the military and says that they "wear their military tattoos as badges of honor. It's their way of showing respect for their country. It wasn't a problem when they were hired, so what's the harm of having a tattoo now?" The department is considering the request for such an exception.

If your employer is implementing restrictions that you believe are not relevant to your job performance, we have attorneys at Bertolino LLP who specialize in issues of business and employment law and can assist you with your case. Please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today.

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