General Order 27.1

Last Revised: 03-01-2017


This order consists of the following numbered sections:

27.1.1    General policy

27.1.2    Hair and facial hair

27.1.3    Jewelry and piercings

27.1.4    Clothing

27.1.5    Tattoos

27.1.6    Training

27.1.7    Religious and medical accommodations

27.1.8    Interpretation of standards

27.1.1 General policy

Department employees will maintain a professional appearance in accordance with City policy and the following Department principles:

I.    An unprofessional appearance is inconsistent with our mission.

II.    A part of uniformed service is uniform appearance.

III.    Appearance norms for men and women in our society are different. As a result, personal appearance standards for men and women will be different.

IV.    Medical needs and religious beliefs are accommodated, when possible.

V.    Safety is always a consideration.

27.1.2 Hair and facial hair

I.    Hair

A.    Hair styles for men and women are to be neatly cut. Staff members are to keep their hair in a clean condition.

B.    Male and female staff members required to wear a uniform will adhere to the following standards:

1.    Men and women with short hair styles: hair styles may be as long as touching the back of the collar and covering one half of the ear.

2.    Women having long hair styles: hair will be pulled back and secured so as to not hang in the face.

3.    There is no minimum hair length for men or women

II.    Facial hair

A.    Mustaches, sideburns, and goatees will be permitted for male staff members. Facial hair length will be closely cropped, not exceeding half of an inch.

B.    Mustaches will be styled to follow the curve of the mouth and drop vertically at the corners of the mouth. Mustache length shall not extend beyond the jaw line and be of consistent width.

C.    Goatees will not extend laterally beyond the “smile lines” of the face or extend under the chin more than one inch from the point of the chin.

D.    Full and/or partially full beards are not permitted unless a confirmed medical need or religious reason exists.

E.    Sideburns will not extend below the earlobe.

F.    New facial hair styles will be permitted but only after at least seven days of growth accumulates during an off-duty period.

III.    Prohibited hair and facial hair styles include:

A.    Designs, words, or patterns cut into the hair

B.    Obviously unnatural colors or multi-colored hair

C.    Mohawks

D.    Mutton chops

E.    Variations of full or partially full beards

27.1.3 Jewelry and piercings

I.    Men are not permitted to wear earrings. Women may wear no more than two stud type earrings in each ear.

II.    Necklaces may be worn. Staff members wearing a uniform will keep necklaces inside their shirts.

III.    Rings that are worn will be kept to a maximum of two on each hand.

IV.    Visible pierced body parts other than pierced ear lobes are not to contain studs, jewelry, or other decorations.

27.1.4 Clothing

I.    Employees are to wear appropriate attire for the work they are doing. As a general rule, police and corrections officers are to wear a uniform approved by the Department. Administrative and office personnel and officers on light duty may wear either the Department uniform or business casual attire. Exceptions to these rules may be made by the employee’s supervisor based on business necessity.

II.    Officers and staff members representing the Department in court appearances are required to wear either the Department uniform or business attire.

III.    Unauthorized business casual attire includes: blue jeans (except for casual Fridays), t-shirts, sweat pants, shorts, ill-fitting clothing, clothing that is distracting and/or offensive, and any garment depicting offensive words, numerals, letters, symbols, initials, or pictures.

27.1.5 Tattoos

I.    Tattoos that show above the shirt collar are not permitted.

II.    Women are permitted to have cosmetic make-up tattoos.

III.    Visible tattoos that could be interpreted as offensive—words, numbers, symbols, initials, or pictures—are not permitted.

27.1.6 Training

I.    Officers and staff members attending outside training will adhere to the Department’s dress code or wear clothing specifically required for the type of training being attended.

II.    Officers and staff members attending in-service training will wear clothing recommended by department instructors for specific types of training. Absent specific clothing needed for in-service training, staff may wear long pants, t-shirts or collared shirts, a department uniform, or utility type of clothing.

III.    Shorts, sandals, or any garment with offensive words, numerals, letters, symbols, initials, or pictures are not permitted for in-service training.

27.1.7 Religious and medical accommodations

Staff members seeking either a medical or religious accommodation will notify their supervisor before deviating from this standard. The Department will evaluate each request and may seek additional confirmation within the medical or religious community before determining whether to grant an accommodation.

27.1.8 Interpretation of standards

I.    Supervisors have the authority to determine if these standards are being met and, if necessary, to advise employees about how they can comply with the subjective elements of the standard.

II.    On the aspects of these standards that involve subjective assessment, employees may ask for a second opinion from their division manager.

III.    The ultimate authority of interpretation will be the Chief of Police who has discretion to modify or discontinue any or all parts of this policy for any reason.