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SRPs told tattoos make them targets

Sunday, April 27, 2014
A police sergeant inspects a potential Special Reserve Police candidate for tattoos during a recruitment drive at the East Mucurapo Secondary School in St James yesterday. Photo: MICHEAL BRUCE

Commandant of the Special Reserve Police (SRP) Snr Supt Glendor Thomas says tattoos make police officers targets. He said while officers entering the T&T Police Service are prohibited from having visible tattoos, that should not discourage potential recruits from answering the call of duty to serve in an elite organisation. He was speaking at the SRP recruitment exercise at Mucurapo Secondary School, Mucurapo Road, St James, yesterday.



Thomas said, “When you’re successful in joining the service, that means you will have passed the exam, [been] vetted, do a period of training, passed out and placed in uniform. “It’s basically a short-sleeved uniform, unless you’re placed in certain police units, and the reason that we don’t want tattoos is because of the visibility: You become a marked man. 


“Sometimes a police officer is undercover and can withhold his name, rank and serial number—but he can be identified by his dragon or snake tattoo on his hand; that’s why we specify no visible tattoos.” He said if a recruit’s tattoo was on his back or upper arm, it was permissible once it was covered, but visible tattoos were a no-no. Thomas said over 10,000 males showed up for yesterday’s screening, compared to over 40,000-plus male and female candidates in 2012. 


The police sergeant ordered the men to roll up their sleeves in order to see the area from their elbows to their shoulder blades; he ordered those with tattoos to go to the left. He said if they tried to conceal their tattoos with powder or make-up, they would be discovered. Thomas said many citizens may wish to join one of the armed forces—either the police, army or coast guard. 


He said the police service was a unique, elite organisation, and there were opportunities for upward mobility in the ranks. Someone could join as a constable and aspire to be a commissioner of police, he said. He said SRP recruits, with five passes, can rise to join the regular police force and have many opportunities available to them.