Dallas Police Department to require that officers cover tattoos

Although tattoo removal is our business, and the new DPD regulation might actually increase our business, I would like to go on record stating the we adamantly oppose the new rule and hope that the department reconsiders. Not only should they allow our men and women in blue to express themselves in the manner they see fit, but for their health and well being, not require them to wear long sleeves during the sweltering summer months.

-Allen Falkner

06:42 AM CDT on Wednesday, July 22, 2009
By TANYA EISERER / The Dallas Morning News

The next time you see a Dallas police officer wearing a long-sleeved shirt when it’s hotter than a furnace outside, it may be because he or she is hiding something.

A tattoo.

The department is planning to require police officers to cover up their tattoos, even if it means wearing makeup or a skin-colored patch over a hard-to-obscure place such as the neck or wrist.

A lot of officers are coming in with tattoos, said Lt. Andrew Harvey, a police spokesman.

It’s more normal now than it ever has been, he said but added that the department wants officers to display a more professional image.

The department’s personnel division is drawing up the official policy. It could go into effect as soon as this summer.

The old rules are silent on tattoos and state only that employees must present a neutral and uniform image to effectively relate to all segments of the population they serve.

The department largely left it up to the individual commander to decide whether an officer needed to cover tattoos.

A number of other cities also require officers to cover tattoos, including Los Angeles, Arlington and Houston, though they typically exempt officers working undercover. This is in stride with what other cities are doing, Harvey said.

Officer Nick Novello has four tattoos on his arms, including an American Indian on his right forearm that was there when he was hired by the city in 1982. He said he believes the department should consider grandfathering in current officers and thinks it’s a mistake to have an across-the-board policy.

If I got hired in 1982 and had that tattoo on my forearm, how can you expect me to cover my tattoo up in 2009? Novello asked. If you have to cover up your arms, they’re going to have a lot of problems staying hydrated. You put a guy in long sleeves and he’s not going out of the car unless it’s an absolute emergency during the hot summer months.

Novello, who also has an eagle bursting out of an American flag on his left arm, said he can understand requiring officers to cover up tattoos if they are offensive in some way.

In culture at large, tattoos are extremely prevalent, he said. We’re not divorced from society at large.

Another officer, who asked that his name to be published because he feared retaliation, said he’s worn a long-sleeved uniform for years because his tattoos cover his entire arms. But he said a portion of the tattoos still peeks out on his left hand.

Are they going to make me wear gloves or makeup? he said.

He suggested that a more reasonable approach would be to require officers to cover tattoos if they cover a certain percentage of the body part or if the tattoos are larger than a specified size.

What are you going to do with that guy who is 300 pounds, and you put him in long sleeves in the heat of summer, and he drops out on you? the officer said. There’s other alternatives than saying everybody with tattoos has to cover it.

Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you…

Removing tattoos might be our business, but removal can often mean editing an existing piece or making room for better work. Today is prime example of that. I have an old armband that has been treated twice and is now ready to be covered. Well, not quite. Mike worked on it for an hour or so today, but stopped because some of the areas are still too dark to cover. Looks like one more treatement before the tattooing can go any higher.

Wow the elbow is uncomfortable

I want to thank Mike for all the work he has done on my left sleeve…and in case you haven’t heard of the guy, here is a little background on him:

Some of you might know him from his tattoos on The Lizardman

…or possibly from his portrait of Maddox Jolie Pitt

One day everyone will really know him for his controversial paintings

…but me, I know him as the light handed tattoo artist with the SWEET ‘STACHE

Sorry, Mike….it had to be done.

Mike Tidwell Awards
Best Color Small – Texas Tattoo Roundup – 2002
Best Color Medium – Texas Tattoo Roundup –2004
Most Realistic– Texas Tattoo Roundup –2004
Best Portrait – Texas Tattoo Roundup –2004
Most Unusual – Texas Tattoo Roundup –2005
Most Unusual – Texas Tattoo Roundup –2007

Dallas 9-Year-Old Aspires To Be Tattoo Artist

Channel 11 news was in the shop two days ago doing a story on story on Lilly and now it’s exploding all over the internet. I heard it even made the front page of Yahoo News and CNN.

span class=”cbstv_attribution”>DALLAS (CBS 11 News) ― According to Lilly Hibbs, tattoos are a way of life. Her mom works on body piercing and her dad is a tattoo artist. The 9-year-old said she just wants to follow in his footsteps.

“Monkey see, monkey do,” said Stephen Hibbs, Lilly’s dad. “I guess she watches us everyday she wants to be a part of it.”

Stephen said he just couldn’t be prouder. “Most parents would say, ‘I can’t believe your kid wants to be a tattoo artist.’ Where I say, ‘I can only be lucky if my kid turns out to be a tattoo artist,'” he said.

Lilly spends her day at Suffer City Tattoos in Dallas, doing what she says comes naturally, learning the skill of body art.

“When I was 7, my dad asked me if I wanted to tattoo him and I said yes,” she said. So, Lilly tattooed her dad with a picture of Patrick from SpongeBob SquarePants.

The video was posted on YouTube. “One person saw video of me tattoo. They just stopped in saying they wanted a tattoo by me,” Lilly said.

One person even drove from North Carolina to get a tattoo by Lilly. “He wanted an anchor, so she drew him an anchor,” said Stephen. “He loved it.”

But Lilly has a little help. The needle is heavy, so her dad holds on while she draws.

At only $5 for each tattoo, Lilly realizes that she won’t get rich any time soon, but she is saving up for something a little zany: a gigantic plastic gingerbread man.

“I don’t think I will ever buy her a plastic gingerbread man, she will buy it for herself,” said her dad.

Lilly has drawn about six tattoos and says she realizes she has a lot of art classes to take before she can perfect her skill. Meanwhile, her dad worries that, like most kids, she will rebel — throw in the needle and run off to join a sorority.


So you’re stuck with a dark tattoo. You want to get it covered but your options are limited. In most cases, your choices are bigger and darker. Well, what about lightening the piece first? Below is a great example. With just 3 laser treatments, Caleb was able to cover his old tattoo with no sign of underlying tattoo. (Click the image for close-up view…you will see NO TRACE of the old kanji!)


“His neck tattooed normally.
I didn’t notice any adverse effects from the laser treatment at all.
You do good work.”
Artist: Tom YosenickFine Line Tattoos
Client: Caleb Barnard – Hold Fast Tattoos

Digital Tattoo Interface

This was just sent to me from my friend Roger aka Circle 23:

Jim Mielke submitted this hypothetical concept to the Greener Gadgets Design Competition:

Her cell phone is ringing, but the display is turned off. She lightly pushes a small dot on the skin on her left forearm to suddenly reveal a two by four inch tattoo with the image of the cell phone’s digital display, directly in the skin of her arm. She answers the call by pushing a tattooed button on her arm. While she’s talking, the tattoo comes to life as a digital video of the caller. When she finishes, the tattoo disappears.


This Bluetooth device is permanently implanted beneath the skin. It is flat, flexible, silicon and silicone. Tightly rolled when it’s inserted through a small incision, and then unfurled beneath the skin, it lies benignly between skin and muscle.

Through the same incision, two small tubes are attached from the implanted device to an artery and a vein. A coin sized blood fuel cell in the implant converts the blood’s glucose and oxygen from the artery to the electricity required to power the device. Used blood returns through to the vein. The digital device’s power source is the same as for all of the biological components in the body.


The surface of the implant that faces the underside of the skin is covered with a matrix of field producing pixels that activate a matching matrix of pixels tattooed onto the surface of the skin above the implant. The field penetrates the skin to drive the tattooed display, while the skin continues to provide its function of sealing the body from the world. The surface of the implant is also a touch screen control, pressed through the skin. Rather than ink, tiny clusters of microscopic spheres are injected, like tattoo ink, into the skin. Each sphere is filled with a field sensitive material that changes from clear to black when a field in the matrix is turned on.


This device communicates wirelessly with the world as well as with other devices implanted in the same body. It is always present, always on, but out of sight and non-obtrusive. It also continually monitors for many blood disorders, alerting the person of a health problem: A human version of the check engine light. Product styling is the latest and coolest downloaded display interface showing on any tattoo on the block. This product is waterproof and it is powered by pizza.

John if you read this, please send a link to you site, blog, email. I would love to here more about this idea.