CHICAGO — After uniform rules kept tattooed police officers in long sleeves all summer, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson announced Wednesday that officers with tattoos can now show them off.
In a speech at police headquarters announcing the hiring of 970 new police personnel to combat the historic violence plaguing the city, Johnson said that officers are under an extraordinary amount of pressure, and if easing up uniform rules helps, he's in.
"Our police officers need all the help they can get to do the right thing, even in the most difficult and disorienting situations," Johnson said, adding that improving morale was a priority, along with better staffing and equipment. "[We are] giving officers of all ranks loosened uniform policies and no longer needing tattoos to be covered up."
The Fraternal Order of Police declared victory on the former ban on caps and visible tattoos in March, when an arbitrator upheld a union grievance on the matter, despite a federal judge's ruling that the ban didn't violate the rights of officers, the Sun-Times reported.
At the time, the Police Department declined to make an immediate change to the uniform policy, with a spokesman telling the paper it would "make a decision in the near future" on the arbitrator's ruling.
The no-tattoo rule came from former police Supt. Garry McCarthy, who was trying to "promote uniformity and professionalism," the city said at the time.
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