The Los Angeles Fire Department is asking for the public’s input as they revisit their “firefighter tattoo policy,” officials announced on social media Thursday.
“We would love to hear your input, to help us factor in the views of the public we serve,” the post read. “Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts on tattoos on your firefighters.”
The department’s current policy was established in May 2008 and sets strict guidelines on the display of tattoos, scarifications or brandings that firefighters may have.
“All sworn members, while on-duty, shall not display any tattoos, scarifications, and/or brandings,” the policy states. “Sworn uniformed members shall cover any visible tattoos, scarifications, and/or brandings by wearing a Department approved uniform or by wearing a skin patch that covers the tattoos, scarifications, and/or brandings. When impractical, (i.e. showering) members are not required to cover any tattoos, scarifications, and/or brandings.”
The policy goes on to state that an operations commander can grant a one-time exemption for body markings that cannot be covered with a uniform if the member had the marking before the implementation of the policy. Firefighters must request that exemption in writing along with photographs of the tattoos, scarifications, and/or brandings.
Since the policy went into effect, firefighters have been prohibited from getting any body markings that cannot be covered by an approved uniform or skin patch.
Whether that policy is about to change may have to do with the public’s opinion of tattoos. The department is asking Angelenos to weigh in on the issue by taking a short survey that can be found here.
An LAFD official told KTLA that the decision on whether to change the policy will be made once the department receives enough feedback from the public.