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Atascadero firefighters want to show tattoos at work. They’re getting the chance, for now

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Workers remove vegetation along the side of Cambria Pines Road in Cambria as part of a Cal Fire's wildfire management program. The program in SLO County is paid for through funds from PG&E

Atascadero firefighters are testing a new policy that would allow them to display appropriate tattoos while on the job.

Atascadero Fire & Emergency Services is temporarily modifying its tattoo policy to be more lenient this summer, according to a news release. The current policy requires all visible tattoos to be covered while in uniform.

Firefighters in the department requested that they be allowed to display tattoos at work, the department said. The temporary policy modification, which will be tested through September 9, allows appropriate tattoos to be shown at work.

Fire Chief Casey Bryson wrote in the release he believes the policy change will be positive.

“Without covering tattoos that are located on the arms, firefighters will stay safer and cooler during the warm summer months,” Bryson wrote. “Additionally, the department will show it is open to change and is keeping pace with today’s culture.”

The policy modification does not allow tattoos on hands, head, face, ears or neck to be shown. It also does not allow tattoos with “objectionable content,” including racism, sexism and sexually suggestive or explicit words or symbols.

At the end of the trial period, a decision will be made to keep the new policy or return to the original policy. More information about the policy will be posted on The City of Atascadero’s Facebook page once it is available.

Last summer, the Atascadero Police Department tested the same tattoo policy modification. The department adopted the policy after the trial period.

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