Stefan Eberz, Markus M. Thielgen, Antje Wels, Christine Telser, Raphael Schäfer

Hochschule der Polizei Rheinland-Pfalz

The Model of Risk-Sensitive Liberalization (MRL)

The number of people wearing visible body modifications, e.g. tattoos, as well as their acceptance in society has been significantly increasing. In the course of this development, rules and regulations of police officers’ appearance in Germany that prohibit the exhibition of tattoos during police services, so far, are challenged. However, such standards aim at the minimization of risk factors in police service, securing safety at work and promoting the image of police organizations. Within the scope of the “Police Officer Appearance”- project of the Rhineland-Palatinate State Police, we aimed to answer the question which theoretical approaches and empirical evidence currently exist regarding police officers’ appearance and tattoos. Based on a literature review, we propose the Model of Risk-Sensitive Liberalization (MRL). It describes the relationships between police officers’ appearance, potential positive and negative civilians’ reactions, situational risk factors in police services, as well as intraorganizational challenges. Finally, against the background of actual trends in society, we discuss boundary conditions how rules and regulations of police officers’ appearance might be liberalized.

Seite 18-41