New blue light and tattoo policies for HPD

The Honolulu Police Department is undergoing some changes — one dealing with officers appearance, the other has to do with the blue lights on the top of their police cars and SUVs.

The purpose of the new blue light policy is to make the police cars more visible, especially during the daytime.

Honolulu police officers are now required to leave their steady blue lights on during the day.  This new policy went into effect about a month ago.

“I think it’s a great idea because people are more aware of where cops are.  I think it’s good for speed traps but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.  I think it could be positive on the community,” Manoa resident Ashlee Bitner said.

“I believe in them for blue lights because that way I know they’re not hiding and know if they’re on duty or off duty,” Makiki resident Paul Martinez said.

Previously, officers were only required to have their steady blue lights on at night.

But there have always been exceptions.  If the officers are out on specific traffic enforcement assignments to look out for drunk drivers or speeders or other traffic infractions, then they’re not required to have their blue lights on while they’re on the lookout, and that policy has not changed.

The only thing that has changed is that the officers now have to keep their blue lights on during the day in an effort to be more visible to the public.

HPD Spokeswoman Michelle Yu said in a statement: “We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the public.  They say that the added visibility is good and makes it easier to get help if needed.”

And this new policy applies not only to the blue and white police cars but also to the subsidized or personally owned vehicles as well.

Another big change at HPD is their new tattoo policy.

Starting July 1, all Honolulu police officers in uniform will be required to cover their tattoos with long sleeved uniforms or makeup.

If an officer is caught not following the new policy, he or she will likely face disciplinary action.

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