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Canadian police ban tattoos, piercings

Aug. 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM

MEDICINE HAT, Alberta, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Tattoo advocates are decrying a policy imposed on police officers in an Alberta town requiring them not to have any visible tattoos or piercings.

Medicine Hat Police Chief Andy McGrogan said policy, which was put in place after a Medicine Hat police officer asked for permission to display a tattoo while on duty, is based on the results of a 2011 survey in the town that indicated residents prefer police officers not to display tattoos, piercings or unnaturally colored hair, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday.

"It's not what I think, it's what members of the community think," McGrogan said. "At the end of the day, our community has spoken and we just changed our policy to reflect that."

Samantha Barron, who owns a Medicine Hat tattoo shop, said she does not agree with the policy.

"I think it's pathetic that the police officers with tattoos now have to hide who they are," she said. "And it makes them less a part of our community."

McGrogan said the policy may be revisited in the future.

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