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Uniformed HPD officers required to cover up tattoos

A new Honolulu Police Department policy is requiring uniformed officers to cover up their tattoos.

Chief Louis Kealoha tells KHON-TV (http://ow.ly/uwad2) about 20 percent of the force’s officers have visible tattoos. He says it was a difficult decision that has generated mixed reaction.

The chief says there’s a trend among police departments nationwide to require uniformed officers to hide their tattoos.

Kealoha, who himself has tattoos, says the policy is about improving the department’s professional image.

Officers will have to use long-sleeved uniforms to cover arm tattoos and makeup for tattoos on their necks or hands.

The policy goes into effect July 1.

Undercover and plain-clothes officers will be exempt.

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