Employees may have visible tattoos while at work. Tattoos, body art, or brands, anywhere on the body, that are commonly associated with gangs, supremacist or extremist groups, or that are sexist, racist, or advocate religious discrimination, or drug use are prohibited. Tattoos are explicitly prohibited from being visible above the collarbone on the neck, face, or head and visible with an open collar shirt. Additionally, tattoos will not extend below the wrist onto employees hands. The only exception is a tattoo of one wedding band, on a ring finger, on one hand. A tattoo, brand or body art that is deemed indecent will be covered while the employee is at work.
The Charleston Police Department will vet all exposed tattoos, body art, and brands through the Criminal Intelligence Unit. The Department reserves the right to require employees to conceal their tattoos, body art or brands if deemed necessary to conform to evolving community standards, attitudes, or beliefs. This policy and its exceptions do not grant permanent approval to display any tattoos, body art or brands subsequently deemed unacceptable for display and employees may be required to cover them at any time. If an employee has any tattoo, body art or brand that meets one of the above prohibited criteria, the employee will be required to remove or alter the prohibited marking (at his/her expense) or face disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
The Chief of Police or his designee shall make the final determination as to whether tattoos, body art or brands are inappropriate.