RICHFIELD, Minn. - With both arms inked with art, Ryan Stevens of Richfield stands out. However, while applying for a corrections deputy position within the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, Stevens' claims his tattoos stood out more than his talents.
"I don't' feel like it's a problem," says Stevens. "I can wear a long-sleeve shirt and do the job just fine."
Stevens, who was rejected for the job,has two degrees in law-enforcement and currently works as a corrections officer in Faribault. He feels workplace policies need to relax regarding tattoos.
"If someone calls 9-11 and needs help, they don't care if the cop has tattoos," he says. "Tattoos are part of our culture."
Hennepin County policies are similar to other law enforcement agencies. Ramsey County Sheriff's Office policy states "no visible tattooing while in uniform."
Tattoo policies in other workplaces vary. One metro hospital feels "tattoos are fine," while a restaurant manager told KARE "they must be covered."
Nearly half of 26-40 year olds have tattoos according to the Pew Research Center.