SALISBURY, N.C. (FOX 46 WJZY) - The Salisbury Police Department is relaxing the rules when it comes to allowing police officers to show off their body art and grow beards.
“Whether it’s a point in time in your life where you were young and stupid and got something you might regret, or if it’s something that’s from the heart and it means something special to you, it’s part of life,” said Salisbury Police Officer Krystal Johns, who has several tattoos on her arms.
Now Officer Johns and her fellow Salisbury police officers don’t have to cover up their body art.
“To me, it means I don’t have to sweat as much during the summer time. I don’t have to be miserable,” said Johns.
The Salisbury Police Department is now allowing officers to show their arm tattoos as long as the ink doesn’t go past their wrist or above their collar bone.
They used #tattedcops on Facebook urging candidates to come apply to be a police officer.
Employees, including the police chief, can also keep their beards, according to Facebook. The department used #beardlife on its post.
“It probably prohibited some people from entering into this department because of that policy and since we’ve changed it, we have gotten several applicants that had tattoos displayed,” said Lt. Justin Crews.
Officer Johns says the changes give her more freedom to express herself and she says that makes for better interactions with people on the streets.
“It also helps me relate more to the public. People see an officer with tattoos, and they automatically, ‘Oh, he’s like one of us or she’s like one of us, or she has a story, he has a story’ just like I do.”
The police department is encouraging residents to come out and apply to the force. For more information about applying, please click here.