Vermont State Police updates tattoo policy for new members

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Revised regulations allow agency to hire applicants with some visible tattoos

WATERBURY, Vermont (Friday, June 28, 2019) — The Vermont State Police has updated its tattoo policy, allowing people who are seeking to become troopers to be hired by the agency even if they have tattoos that are visible when wearing a short-sleeve uniform shirt. This change recognizes a growing acceptance and prevalence of tattoos.

The revised policy requires new members hired after July 1, 2019, to cover their arms with department-provided fabric sleeves while on duty if they have tattoos that would be apparent while wearing the short-sleeve uniform — formally known as the Class “C” summer uniform — or any other uniform in which their arms are visible. The sleeves are available in black or an array of skin tones.

The change takes effect Monday, July 1, 2019. Prior to July 1, applicants with visible arm tattoos would not be considered for employment unless they removed the tattoos.

VSP policy continues to prohibit any type of tattoo that indicates an extremist, sexist or racist ideology or affiliation. Tattoos on the face, neck or hands also are forbidden. The sole exception is for commitment band tattoos on ring fingers.

“Tattoos have become more popular and widespread. This updated policy recognizes this and allows the Vermont State Police to recruit and attract a wider pool of qualified applicants — from people who are interested in joining law enforcement for the first time to members of other agencies who wish to become a Vermont state trooper,” said Col. Matthew T. Birmingham, director of the state police.

“Where an applicant with a visible arm tattoo may have faced a significant hurdle in the past, we are now able to advance such applicants through the process toward a rewarding and challenging career with Vermont’s largest law-enforcement agency,” Col. Birmingham added.

Potential applicants can learn more about the updated tattoo policy and the hiring process in general by visiting Those considering employment with the Vermont State Police may also email recruiters at[email protected].

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