- Perception: you are scary to some folks and you are not too concerned about the image (or you are too concerned about your image, depending on how you look at it) you are portraying to others.
Now call it as you see fit. Some will argue the department doesn't have the right to do that. I'm not even going to get into that argument. How could we get away with that? Well, the union and the administration met and conferred and the Rule was established. Would this Rule work in every department? No, because every department is different. The clientele we serve is primarily middle-class to upper-class. Some of the homes within the communities we protect are typically in the top 25 list of cities with the most expensive homes in the United States.
Are tattoos more common in less affluent areas? Without being stereotypical, I would imagine they are. Take it a step further now. Would a firefighter working in an affluent area be looked upon in a different light if they had tattoos covering their arms than if they worked in a less affluent area? I would venture they would be. I'm not saying it is right or wrong, I'm just saying it is.
What I hope you get from this, is that you continuously remember now that "perception is reality" and that everything you do, every move you make, every thing you say, is being evaluated, processed, and critiqued by the person or persons who are around you, whether or not they are interacting with you or not. Keep that frame of mind and you will hopefully be able to present yourself in a positive and professional manner, which gets remembered in the best way possible (as opposed to the worst way possible).