Beard the Blue

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Please join in our petition to push for a new look at outdated policies. It's time for a change, welcome to 2018 Longview Police Department. One of the best ways to ensure our local police force maintains operational proficiency, which benefits both the officers and the public they serve alike, is to make sure the best trained and most competent officers are hired. We feel that the current policy in the LPD restricting, and in most cases, prohibiting facial hair and visible tattoos is counterproductive to accomplishing this task and is ultimately an attitude that is out of touch with modern practices in law enforcement organizations locally and across the country. Whether you personally agree or not, times have changed as is illustrated by a study done in 2016 by The Harris Poll showed that 3 in every 10 Americans have tattoos.. That's 30% and the numbers are growing yearly. Why then, is the organization tasked to serve people, not allowed to be representative of the people?

We believe that the measure of good officer should be how he/she performs in the field, not by how many visible tattoos they may or may not have nor by their decision to wear facial hair that is appropriate and well maintained. May we remind you that appearance does NOT reflect character, capability, or morals.

Additionally, many local organizations across East Texas have already relaxed these codes in order to be more competitive with their hiring practices in what is a traditionally physically demanding job with low pay and increasingly intense public scrutiny. These men and women are risking their lives to protect our community, is the message that for doing so you may not express any individuality and must conform to outdated rules and regulations?

Failure of the Longview Police Department to recognize these trends and adapt their dress code accordingly will increasingly result in well qualified officers taking jobs in other forces where the guidelines are more modern, guaranteeing a larger pool of well qualified candidates with which to improve the overall quality of the organization.

At the end of the day, the public doesn't care if the person pulling them from a burning car, keeping drugs and crime in check, and protecting their loved ones has a beard or visible tattoos as long as that officer upholds their oath to protect and serve in the most competent manner possible.

We do not believe that the men and women that risk their lives every single day should be defined by the ink on their skin or hair on their face, as long as it is well maintained and not offensive in its message, do you?

Please consider this petition to adapt these guidelines to a more modern, yet still professional manner and ensure a well-qualified Longview Police Force for years to come.



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