Editorial: Honolulu Police Chief Bans Tattoos

“When they say that you have to cover up your tattoos or we’re not going to hire you because of tattoos, they’re looking at it from a very Western perspective,” tattoo artist (Keone) Nunes says. from here

Looks like the freedom and acceptance of visible tattoos in Hawaii is getting pulled over…

Recently, the Honolulu Chief of Police, Louis Kealoha, placed a ban on visible tattoos for police officers. Tattoos are no longer allowed to be visible on police officers in Honolulu and officers will have the option to remove, wear makeup, or long-sleeved uniforms to cover them up.  Interestingly enough, the chief himself has a tattoo that is covered up, which is fascinating if you think about.

As tattoos gain more mainstream acceptance (just look at the number of 2014 World Cup athletes sporting sleeves and other visible tattoos), there are still battles here and there that remind us that many people are conflicted over the professionalism of tattoos.  While it can be argued that many people get tattoos just because, the vast majority of tattooed individuals get something that is meaningful and personal.  While tattoos may be similar, no two tattoos are alike and are they are unique expressions of the individual who wears them.

A tattoo can be a souvenir of a trip.  It can be a memory with a loved one.  It can be an impulse, spur of the moment enjoyment (or regret) that signifies a period of time in someone’ Life.  Tattoos can mean many things.  But do they really mean someone with a tattoo is unprofessional?  Or unable to perform a job?

Cultural practitioner Keone Nunes (quoted above) shares his view about the “Western” take on tattoos.  In Polynesian cultural and here with Hawaiian tattoos, such as the type Nunes applies, the piece has great meaning.  It borders on the line of spiritual and in America, freedom of religious practice still applies last we checked.

Anyhow, today HPD is doing what it is doing and that could change.  Hopefully, other organizations won’t follow suit and reverse the trend of acceptance that is becoming more widespread as time passes.

One thought on “Editorial: Honolulu Police Chief Bans Tattoos

  1. Also the airports have all ready taken the same law into effect with all there TSA emloyess , Sheriffs , and airline employees . i see a lot of one armed skin tone socks being worn in the HONOLULU INTERNATION AIRPORT and really feel for them , im always asking , hay whats under that sleeve your covering and they usually laugh when they see me asking !
    thats a really good article Brother Jason thanks again man!

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