Regulations against visible tattoos are springing up in police departments all over the country. Some police departments have size and number restrictions, some departments will allow those hired before the regulations to be grandfathered in, while placing restrictions on new officers. Then there are those departments which have instituted an outright ban on all visible tattoos. The Honolulu police department has chosen to go that direction. The policy goes into effect July 1. In order to comply with the new policy all uniformed officers working for the Honolulu police department will have to hide any visible tattoos. According to Police Chief Louis Kealoha, 20% of the police force sport tattoos which will be affected by the ban.
Tattoos a Cultural Heritage
There is some outcry about this policy because for many Hawaiians tattoos are more than just decorations. Certain tattoos can symbolize Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage. Polynesians have practiced the art of tattooing for centuries. Polynesian tattoos are not just beautiful, they have spiritual significance. These elaborate tattoos are often placed on the arm or leg. Half-sleeve and full-sleeve tattoos are quite common and often wrap over the shoulder and may even extend to the chest. Unfortunately, the regulations do not allow for dissent and officers who defy the ban "will face disciplinary action."
Long-Sleeved Uniforms and Make-up
The rules only apply to those officers in uniform, undercover personnel and plain clothes policemen will not be affected. The solutions for covering up any visible tattoos are fairly limited. Officers can wear a long-sleeved uniform to hide any arm tattoos but they will have to resort to cover-up makeup for neck or hand tattoos. Neither of these options are particularly appealing when you work in a tropical semi-arid climate zone. Obviously, wearing a long-sleeved uniform during hot weather can get uncomfortable, and since daytime temperatures in Honolulu often hover between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit officers may find themselves uncomfortable much of the time. Heat stress, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke are a real concern when wearing long-sleeves in high temperatures. And, of course, makeup rarely does well in heat--it can literally melt right off the skin or the sweat and the oils that the skin produces can cause it to smear. Reapplication may be necessary. It’s hard to imagine a busy police officer having the time to reapply makeup during the day.
Laser Removal Treatment
Rather than wearing too-hot uniforms or messing with makeup some officers are considering another more permanent option--having their tattoos removed with laser treatments. We at InkOff.Md located in Honolulu, Hawaii would like to help make this option more affordable. As mentioned on KHON2 News, Dr. W. Y Chung, director of InkOff.MD, is offering a 20% discount on the PicoSure laser treatment to all Honolulu officers affected by this new policy. PicoSure is the most advanced tattoo removal system available. Once the visible tattoo is removed the officer always has the option of having the design re-inked on another part of their body.
InkOff.MD offers the most advanced techniques for tattoo removals with fascinating results. www.inkoffhawaii.com
1585 Kapiolani Blvd. Suite 1740
Honolulu, HI 96814