Portland’s police department is dropping its strict policy against officers with visible tattoos. But there are still some limits.

The move was announced Wednesday on the department’s Facebook page and is intended to catch up with changing social standards and remove a potential barrier hiring barrier. The department, like other police agencies around Maine and the country, has struggled to hire new recruits in the midst of a tight labor market.

“Today, tattoos are viewed more as a form of self-expression and are much more socially acceptable. By modifying our current tattoo policy, we hope to reach a new group of highly qualified applicants,” the department posted.

While the new policy allows for the visible display of tattoos while in uniform, it still has limits: “Face, neck and hand tattoos, with the exception of a ring on each hand, are prohibited.”


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