Should LAFD firefighters be allowed to show their tattoos?

More than a decade ago, the Los Angeles Fire Department instituted a policy that required all its members to cover their tattoos. 

However, that policy may become a thing of the past.  

In a memo, the LAFD said it is seeking public input as it revisits its policy, which requires the covering of "tattoos, branding, and/or scarification, regardless of where they were located on a member's body." 

Any LAFD member with tattoos must cover them with a "Department approved uniform or skin patch," which essentially means wearing long-sleeve shirts at all times, "regardless of the climate if members have tattoos on their arms." 

Officials said since the policy was implemented, the public's view on tattoos has shifted to become more acceptable compared to "back in the day" when they were deemed by the public as "unprofessional." 

Los Angeles Fire Department firefighter Ian Eulian is seen with his kneeling firefighter tattoo on his arm on February 17, 2005 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

"Firefighters have noted several negative effects resulting from the policy such as, operational and response challenges, lack of acceptance and inclusion, and heat-related issues," the memo said. 

 The LAFD noted the military's recent change ot its tattoo policy, which allows different branches to display tattoos on any part of the body, excluding the head, neck, and hands. 

The public is encouraged to share their thoughts on the topic by completing a survey online. 

The LAFD said all data will be collected and considered as they mull any potential changes to the current policy. 

Surveys can be submitted through Friday, Oct. 6.