Pittsburg police officers can now show tattoos on the job; chief said the ban was outdated

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Police officer in Pittsburg can now sport tattoos, reflecting a shift in department policy that aims to reflect more modern times and make it more comfortable for employees who patrol a city where temperatures can reach 90 degrees or higher on a hot summer day.

Police Chief Bruce Addington explained the new outlook on ink. 

“Really, it was an outdated policy,” Addington said in a Facebook post. “Many people have tattoos and why should officers cover them up when the rest of society can wear them and display them proudly?”

He conducted a community social media poll, which he conducted in late March and early April on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Nextdoor, asking if officers should be allowed to show their tattoos. More than 90 percent said yes.

Tierra Sangiacomo chimed in on Facebook, writing: "Just adding to the many more reasons why I would love to join this PD after I graduate college. Tattoos are beautiful artwork and they don't change the way a person can do their job!" 

Siu Ling also wrote she was glad tattoos are allowed, noting how hot it gets. "Thank you for respecting the community and asking our opinion too," Ling wrote. 

Tattoo policies vary city to city. In Contra Costa County, Hercules and El Cerrito are the only other cities that allow police to display tattoos while on duty, according to the Bay Area News Group.

San Jose police do not allow tattoos, body art, intentional scarring or mutilation of any kind, its policy manual states. Officers can wear sleeves, instead of long shirts, as an alternative. 

In San Francisco, by contrast, there is no tattoo policy.