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Pennsylvania State Police relaxes policy on tattoos for troopers


Harrisburg, PA – Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, announced today he has issued a special order that changes the department’s policy surrounding tattoos. Effective immediately, enlisted members and prospective cadets may have tattoos on their biceps and forearms; however, they are required to wear a long-sleeved uniform shirt on duty.

“The policy change is a reflection of internal and external feedback and the evolving public perception regarding tattoos and other body modifications,” said Colonel Evanchick. “We want to recruit the most qualified candidates available. Department leadership recognized we were potentially missing out on a larger group of applicants because of our restrictive policy and after careful consideration, we revised it accordingly.”

Tattoos depicting words, pictures, or symbols which can be interpreted to advocate, promote, or support racial, gender, or ethnic hatred or intolerance are not permitted. Also prohibited are tattoos that can be interpreted to advocate, promote, or support discrimination towards any race, national origin, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.

Prospective cadets will have their tattoos reviewed by a screening committee prior to appointment to the academy as part of the hiring process.

“We are mindful that words and symbols can mean different things to different people,” said Colonel Evanchick. “Tattoos deemed detrimental to the mission and function of the Pennsylvania State Police remain prohibited.”

As part of the policy revision, troopers have the option to wear the department-issued long-sleeved uniform shirt year-round. Members with tattoos that would be visible when wearing the short-sleeved summer uniform shirt are required to wear long sleeves. Tattoos are not allowed to be visible below the wrist line or above the neckline at anytime.

Qualified candidates interested in a career with the Pennsylvania State Police are encouraged to apply. The deadline for the current testing cycle is May 15, 2020. For more information, visit www.PATrooper.com.