Hello Speakeasy Readers,
Today’s topic is regarding the Los Angeles Fire Department asking the public to give their opinion on whether firefighters should have to continue covering their tattoos or not.
In 2008 the LAFP’s current policy was established and set strict guidelines of the display of tattoos.
“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.”
Since the policy went into effect LA firefighters have been prohibited from getting any tattoos that cannot be covered by an approved uniform or skin patch.
Today, the LAFD is finally revisiting this policy and they are asking the community’s input to help make their decision. In a 2023 study by the Pew Research Center, 32% of U.S. adults have a tattoo and 22% have more than one tattoo. With body art becoming more common and accepted, the LAFD is thinking it’s time for a change.
Currently, any applicants who have tattoos that can’t be “covered properly” are not hired based on this policy. The department says firefighters have relayed negative impacts from the policy such as operational and response challenges, lack of acceptance and inclusion as well as heat--related issues.
In order to change this policy the LAFD is asking the Los Angeles public for their help. The department has sent out a survey and the deadline to respond is Friday, Oct. By getting the community’s consent, the LAFD can confidently switch their policy allowing them more freedom to get tattoos.
Personally I am super glad to see more and more communities growing their acceptance of this art form that I love dearly. I am also the son of a firefighter and I plan to tattoo him in the future. It would be an honor for him to display my art and I feel he should have that right to.
Until next time my fellow apes,