Ocean City boardwalk fans take a stroll in the rain to kickoff Memorial Day weekend on Friday, May 22, 2020.
Cherry Hill Courier-Post
CAMDEN – The Camden County Police Department, looking to make itself more attractive to recruits, has adopted new grooming and appearance standards for its officers.
Some of the changes include a:”universal hair standard” for male and female officers that allows braids, locks and short ponytails, the department said in a statement.
In addition, male and female officers for the first time can wear earrings. Female officers can also choose from more shades of nail polish “and can have nails that slightly extend beyond their fingertips,” the statement said.
The changes “are designed to be more reflective of modern norms and styles while also helping with recruiting efforts,” it said.
“We want more young men and women thinking about a career as a police officer, and to not turn away … because of overly stringent and dated grooming and appearance rules,” the statement said.
The new standards replace rules that go back to the former city police department, which was disbanded in mid-2013.
The previous rules, for instance, did not allow any jewelry above the shoulders. The changes will allow stud earrings, but not “those that hang or dangle.”
The old rules also imposed different standards for the hair of male and female officers.
The universal approach requires that all officers must be able to pull back their hair “to above the top of the shoulder blades,” the statement said. And an officer’s hair can’t interfere “with wearing headgear that is part of the police uniform.”
The guidelines were developed during months of discussions with uniformed officers and detectives, said Police Chief Joseph Wysocki.
He said the department’s goal “was to make sure that we maintain a professional look for our officers that is fitting for a police agency while allowing officers to be current and comfortable in the styles that fit them individually.”
Jim Walsh is a free-range reporter who’s been roaming around South Jersey for decades. His interests include crime, the courts, economic development and being first with breaking news. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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