Deputy candidates disqualified for tattoos

Published On: Feb 14 2013 04:10:10 PM CST
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -

Six applicants for a job as a Hennepin County sheriff's deputy were disqualified in a recent round of hiring.

The reason for the disqualification comes down to their tattoos and where they're located.

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek changed his department's policy about two years ago to limit tattoo visibility for new hires. Deputies already on the job are exempt. Tattoos cannot be visible when deputies are wearing short sleeve uniforms. Many law enforcement agencies have similar policies, arguing that officers need to maintain a professional image and that some tattoos can provoke the inmates.

Ryan Stevens passed a written test for a job as a Hennepin County sheriff's deputy, but was one of those disqualified. The 31-year-old Stevens tells the Star Tribune the policy has shut down opportunities for him.