New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) Superintendent Ronal Serpas
announced today a revision of the department's "personal appearance policy," allowing for tattoos below the elbow — "minimal tattoos" no bigger than 4 1/2 inches on the lower arm — to remain visible. Previously, those tattoos had to be covered. The force still bans large forearm tattoos, face tattoos and offensive or political tattoos.
NOPD reached a compromise with the Fraternal Order of Police on the policy, hoping it "will make policing in a hot climate a little more bearable," according to an FOP statement. "The FOP is encouraged by this development and it hopes it will be a sign of increased communication and cooperation between the NOPD administration and the officers who serve the City of New Orleans."
The former policy, which was up for debate last year, forced officers to wear long sleeves under their uniform to hide tattoos. An NOPD statement said the compromise solution is a "reasonable alternative to previous restrictions."