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New Hampshire State Police changes policy on arm tattoos

Tattoos on the neck, face and hand — including wedding band tattoos — are still not allowed.

Owner of Black Cat Tattoo Co. Edgar Armendariz, left, works on a forearm tattoo on Cody Brooks, right, on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 in Odessa, Texas. (Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire State Police are hoping to expand their applicant pool by ending a longstanding ban on hiring people with arm tattoos.

“We’ve walked some pretty talented people out of our lines and out of the opportunity merely on the basis that they had a little ink that would’ve shown in the shortsleeve uniform,” Lt. Brendan Davey, commander of the agency’s recruitment and training unit, told WMUR-TV for a story Saturday.

Tattoos that are deemed racist, sexist or indecent in any way will still not be allowed.

He said many people have tattoos that are inoffensive.

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“A lot of those tattoos are patriotic or they’re memorials to friends of theirs that they’ve lost,” he said.

Tattoos on the neck, face and hand — including wedding band tattoos — are still not allowed.

Recruits with arm tattoos will have to cover them with a compression sleeve while on duty, he said.

The change is one more way for the agency to get creative and expand the applicant pool.

“We realized that we were making a difficult trade, and it’s one that we were not willing to continue to make within a context of recruiting difficulty,” Davey said.

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