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    Default Time Magazine- Tattoos in Public Service

    A very good article to review....Bou



    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...675620,00.html
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    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 11-08-2007 at 10:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CALFFBOU View Post
    A very good article to review....Bou



    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...675620,00.html
    I am on the side of keeping them covered. For every person they might be an "ice breaker" with, they are going to turn off three folks.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    I have recently been told that its policy to cover tattoos, but I was hired with my tattoos over 2 years ago. What am I gonna do in the heat of summer when I have to wear long sleeves? Now a days, tattoos are common. You see more and more now than you did 15-20 years ago. Its not like my tattoos are evil or demonic. And I have never heard anyone in public say something bad about my tats.

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    I can see why they are doing this. no one is going to make a negative assumption based on the lack of tattoos, someone might make a negative assumpton based on a tattoo.

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    I would for a major so Cal fire department. Two years ago the Fire Chief implemented a tattoo policy in conjunction with the Local. It says:

    A firefighter with an existing tattoo that is visible while wearing a standard fire department uniform must keep it covered at all times. If he or she has sleeves, they will wear a long sleeve shirt.

    No existing firefighters will be permitted to get visible tattoos. No new firefighters will be hired with visible tattoos, or with tattoos that may be covered but would be considered offensive.

    Much has been made in this thread about having a tattoo not being a big deal. Remember that as PROFESSIONAL firefighters our pay is determined by the City Council, Board of Fire Commissioners etc. We spend a lot of time promoting the image of the fire service. To the City officials we are just another city department like refuse, gas, water, or sewer. We feel our expertise, training, and professionalism put us in a different category.

    I believe the more professional we look and act, the more it will be reflected in our wages. On the west coast we spend a great deal of time paying attention to our image. We expect white collar wages for a blue collar job. While tattoos do not classify the firefighter, the public perception is that they are not professional.

    I work with many firefighters who have tattoos; some have sleeves (they are now covered while in uniform). My 23-year old daughter has them. I know that the tattoos do not define them, but the public does not. It is this same voting public that pays our salary and determines our benefits.

    Before you tell me that the public does not have a say in our salary I will tell you to learn about your political system. I am very confident that our salary and benefits are directly correlated to our standing in society and the community. Every national incident whether it be a negative one such as the African American firefighter winning 1.6 million dollars from the city of Los Angeles for unknowingly eating dog food, to the heroic actions by the firefighters at the World Trade Center have an impact on our profession.

    Tattoos policies are becoming much more restrictive, not more relaxed. I know of many departments who are formulating policies today.

    Stay safe everyone,
    Paul Lepore

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    What is that?

    A candidate shows up at our house for a coaching session with our son Rob. Rob introduces Jim to me. He looks like he would fit the part of a firefighter. Tall, muscular, dressed in a suit, shoes shinned, and a strong firm handshake with good eye contact. A great first impression if he had just entered an oral boardroom. Then, as he turned his head slightly, out of the corner of my eye, I see something on his neck behind his ear. I asked, “What is that?” As he turned his head more he said, “That’s a tattoo of a scorpion.” But, I have a good story to go along with it.” I said, “There isn’t a story you could tell me in an oral board, without opening a can or worms, that would convince me it was a good idea you planted a scorpion that spread out behind your ear down your neck.”

    Now if I saw it that soon so would a panel member.

    What ever your opinion is on tattoos, understand who’s doing the hiring. It’s not you or any one of your friends who also like tattoos, color, so called art work or tatts.

    As one officer wrote:

    "Tattoos don’t change people"

    No but they do tell everyone who sees them something about you. And that something is nothing you can control, change or alter in most cases. Ask your self why you did or would get inked. You want to tell the world something about yourself, make a statement or be different. Yep you did. Just like the way you choose to cut your hair, the number of piercings, clothes or the people you associate with.

    Then, I heard a comedian on XM Radio say about a guy with a neck tattoo, “Oh, you forget not to do it. You were considering getting the neck tattoo but you decided it would be stupid. Then you forgot how stupid it was.”

    You’re not auditioning to be a pirate in a movie, but a firefighter. Anything about being patriotic, a lot of firefighters have tattoos (probably not before they got hired), doesn’t carry any weight.

    So, maybe your tattoo is not visible with a suit on. Remember there will an agility, a medical in your future where every inch of your body will be seen, a background and psych questionnaire will more than likely ask you if your have any tattoos or have you ever branded your self. This will not work in your favor.

    The candidate with the scorpion tattoo said as he was leaving he, “I have already looked into having it removed and was going to go a head and do it. Cost? $2,000. Before then, he would take the suggestion of using mortician’s wax to cover it up for any upcoming oral boards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post
    I would for a major so Cal fire department. Two years ago the Fire Chief implemented a tattoo policy in conjunction with the Local. It says:

    A firefighter with an existing tattoo that is visible while wearing a standard fire department uniform must keep it covered at all times. If he or she has sleeves, they will wear a long sleeve shirt.

    No existing firefighters will be permitted to get visible tattoos. No new firefighters will be hired with visible tattoos, or with tattoos that may be covered but would be considered offensive.

    Much has been made in this thread about having a tattoo not being a big deal. Remember that as PROFESSIONAL firefighters our pay is determined by the City Council, Board of Fire Commissioners etc. We spend a lot of time promoting the image of the fire service. To the City officials we are just another city department like refuse, gas, water, or sewer. We feel our expertise, training, and professionalism put us in a different category.

    I believe the more professional we look and act, the more it will be reflected in our wages. On the west coast we spend a great deal of time paying attention to our image. We expect white collar wages for a blue collar job. While tattoos do not classify the firefighter, the public perception is that they are not professional.

    I work with many firefighters who have tattoos; some have sleeves (they are now covered while in uniform). My 23-year old daughter has them. I know that the tattoos do not define them, but the public does not. It is this same voting public that pays our salary and determines our benefits.

    Before you tell me that the public does not have a say in our salary I will tell you to learn about your political system. I am very confident that our salary and benefits are directly correlated to our standing in society and the community. Every national incident whether it be a negative one such as the African American firefighter winning 1.6 million dollars from the city of Los Angeles for unknowingly eating dog food, to the heroic actions by the firefighters at the World Trade Center have an impact on our profession.

    Tattoos policies are becoming much more restrictive, not more relaxed. I know of many departments who are formulating policies today.

    Stay safe everyone,
    Paul Lepore
    I'm sorry Paul, but that is too "Third Reich" for my taste. Personal Freedom, and the Pursuit of Happiness baby.

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    Ridiculous... this is just another case of government running amok, overstepping its bounds and trampling the rights of the individual.
    Many of the best firefighters I know have visible tattoos. I have six myself, including a 9/11 memorial tattoo and I have never heard a single negative remark about them.
    Having tattoos (other than ones with gang or racist associations) in no way makes a firefighter or cop less professional, any more than the absence of tattoos in itself makes one more of a professional.

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    I can think of two Firefighters that were part of the group helping out when I was trying out. Both were in excellent condition, knew Fire Science inside out, and lived and breathed Firefighting, and both had "sleeves" Now in a situation where they are on duty in public or in formal FF wear, obviously long sleeves are the way to go. But it is FLAT OUT ignorant, discriminatory, and judgemental to use "professionalism" when talking about one's individual choices, and getting ink on your body is a PRIVATE MATTER. I have worked in Surgical units, Different Opthalmic Clinics with Retina Experts, and other dental clinics and even some Rehabilitation Facilities, and thank GOD that none of these places refused to hire me, because of my PRIVATE LIFE and personal taste in ink. This is not East Germany, circa 1963, with soldiers in machine gun nests looking to destroy those who would dare seek freedom. It is only a matter of time before someone successfully sues an ignorant department because they wouldnt hire them because of some tats.

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    Good 'ol Political Correctness at its finest. These policies are ONLY to make sure that people's personal feelings don't get hurt. It is percieved that we "may" be disrespecting the public. It is another opportunity for pencil pushers to make FF's more white collar. Give it another 10 years, and the ONLY thing required to become a FF will be a passing score on a written test, how much you know about "quantum physics"(not Pierce), and what your IQ is or what Honor Society you were in in college??

    Ask these cities if they are making thier streets or sanitation departments comply?? What about Parks and Rec??

    Don't get me wrong, I do believe in having standards, but enough is enough!!
    A Fire Chief has ONLY 1 JOB and that's to take care of his fireman. EVERYTHING else falls under this.

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    Now let's throw a real kink in the picture... We have a policy as well that states tattoos must be covered... I don't know how I personally feel about it because, I don't usually look close enough at anyones tattoo to be offended by it... so it doesn't bother me....

    But back to my original "kink".. we have a guy on our department that is Samoan.... He has several tattoos because of the ethnic and religious culture of his home country... Can you legally require him to cover his tatoo without treading on his religion or national origin (definitely against the law)? I argued this point in the last managerial council meeting and they are still going to require him to cover the tattoos... I'm waiting for the ACLU or some group of lawyers to knock on our door.

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    Quote Originally Posted by medic27205 View Post
    Now let's throw a real kink in the picture... We have a policy as well that states tattoos must be covered... I don't know how I personally feel about it because, I don't usually look close enough at anyones tattoo to be offended by it... so it doesn't bother me....

    But back to my original "kink".. we have a guy on our department that is Samoan.... He has several tattoos because of the ethnic and religious culture of his home country... Can you legally require him to cover his tatoo without treading on his religion or national origin (definitely against the law)? I argued this point in the last managerial council meeting and they are still going to require him to cover the tattoos... I'm waiting for the ACLU or some group of lawyers to knock on our door.
    This is a can of worms or a "Pandora's Box" just waiting to be opened. I personally dont mind a policy where I have to cover a tatt, via long sleeves, bandage or mortician's wax, but dont tell me you arent going to hire me because of my choice of body ink, or the ACLU, my Attorney and the USA Today are going to know about it.

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    I dont know if its PC motivated as much as someone in a position of "authority" imposing their prejudiced, biased views on others... "I don't like tattoos and I'm the boss so you can't work here/must have it removed/must cover it..." It is an attitude based on fear and has no bearing whatsoever on job performance or health and safety. It should not even be an issue.

    I would love to see a good legal fight over this but the ACLU would not be least bit interested. They would rather be mixed up in the headline grabbing defense of pedophiles, terrorists or some other miscreants than protecting the civil rights of the average Joe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BackstepFF View Post
    I would love to see a good legal fight over this but the ACLU would not be least bit interested. They would rather be mixed up in the headline grabbing defense of pedophiles, terrorists or some other miscreants than protecting the civil rights of the average Joe.

    While not a big fan of the ACLU myself, its obvious you are just regertitating the same anti-ACLU garbage you heard off of fox news, good for you.The ACLU defends people from all parts of the political spectrum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    While not a big fan of the ACLU myself, its obvious you are just regertitating the same anti-ACLU garbage you heard off of fox news, good for you.The ACLU defends people from all parts of the political spectrum.
    I'm not regurgitating anything but my own independent opinion. The ACLU are about as out of touch, whacky and liberal-left leaning as they come. To wit, they fully support their client, "NAMBLA", the North American Man Boy Love Association, an association of homosexual pedophiles while at the same time initiating lawsuits against the Boy Scouts of America for "discriminatory" recruitment policies against homosexuals.

    They are against allowing law enforcement authorities to identify convicted sex offenders to the public.

    They are against prayer in schools or government yet they fought for the Westboro Baptist Church (the same group that picketed the Fallen Firefighters Memorial, infamous for their picket signs that contain messages such as, "God Hates Fags", "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and "Thank God for 9/11") after legislation prevented the group from picketing at veteran's funerals.

    Need I say more? They should call themselves the Anti-American Civil Liberties Union. Now, I think the topic being discussed was tattoos?
    Last edited by BackstepFF; 11-14-2007 at 01:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BackstepFF View Post
    I'm not regurgitating anything but my own independent opinion. The ACLU are about as out of touch, whacky and liberal-left leaning as they come. To wit, they fully support their client, "NAMBLA", the North American Man Boy Love Association, an association of homosexual pedophiles while at the same time initiating lawsuits against the Boy Scouts of America for "discriminatory" recruitment policies against homosexuals.

    They are against allowing law enforcement authorities to identify convicted sex offenders to the public.

    They are against prayer in schools or government yet they fought for the Westboro Baptist Church (the same group that picketed the Fallen Firefighters Memorial, infamous for their picket signs that contain messages such as, "God Hates Fags", "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and "Thank God for 9/11") after legislation prevented the group from picketing at veteran's funerals.

    Need I say more? They should call themselves the Anti-American Civil Liberties Union. Now, I think the topic being discussed was tattoos?
    I am not a big supporter of the ACLU, but one thing for sure is that they are consistant in their support for particular parts of the Constitution. They support folks on the right and the left, when they see those particular freedoms being infringed. You talk about a PC world gone amoke, while they are actually fighting to let you insult folks and be insulted.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BackstepFF View Post
    I'm not regurgitating anything but my own independent opinion. The ACLU are about as out of touch, whacky and liberal-left leaning as they come. To wit, they fully support their client, "NAMBLA", the North American Man Boy Love Association, an association of homosexual pedophiles while at the same time initiating lawsuits against the Boy Scouts of America for "discriminatory" recruitment policies against homosexuals.

    They are against allowing law enforcement authorities to identify convicted sex offenders to the public.

    They are against prayer in schools or government yet they fought for the Westboro Baptist Church (the same group that picketed the Fallen Firefighters Memorial, infamous for their picket signs that contain messages such as, "God Hates Fags", "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and "Thank God for 9/11") after legislation prevented the group from picketing at veteran's funerals.

    Need I say more? They should call themselves the Anti-American Civil Liberties Union. Now, I think the topic being discussed was tattoos?


    Well, lets look at some other people they defended. You know the ones people who sit and have watered down "news" force fed to them, they wouldn't know about the ACLU actions.

    Do you know what Oliver North, the Klu Klux Klan, and Neo Nazis have in common? Both hated by "left leaning liberals" and both aided by the ACLU! Interesting.

    They have even paired up with the Second Amendment Foundation to protect gun rights. Well gosh golly, they looks like some freedom hating commies to me too.


    Now I think when we discuss topics they should be based on facts?

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