Russian archaeologists recently uncovered the remains of a 2,500-year-old warrior princess with some pretty sweet ink, according to the Toronto Sun. “The well-preserved mummy, known as the Ukok princess, was found by a scientist in the permafrost of the Altai Mountains near the border of Russia and China in 1993 with tattoos on her arms, shoulders and hands,” the Sun reports, adding that her tattoos look “incredibly modern.” The 25-hundred-year-old Russian beauty is now set to be displayed in, get this, the Republican National Museum in Gorno-Altaisk, which, fortunately, is a good 5328.792 miles away from Medicine Hat, Alberta. Cuz the good folks of Medicine Hat don’t feel comfortable about people displaying tattoos in their city—particularly if they’re policemen.
As the CBC reports, Police Chief Andy McGrogan says “It’s not what I think, it’s what members of the community think,” citing a 2011 community survey that says mad Hatters are fearful of tattooed cops, or some such nonsense. “At the end of the day, our community has spoken and we just changed our policy to reflect that.” And rather than leave it up to a commanding officer’s discretion as to what might be considered offensive, which is common practice in the nearby liberal bastion of Calgary, Chief McGrogan doesn’t want to take the chance that a Medicine Hatter rips their shirt over a constable’s family crest poking out from under his uniform. Hey, I can see how it would be a little weird if a cop showed up with purple hair and Body Count lyrics tattooed on his forehead, but I don’t think a tribal armband on a burly police officer is anything to be afraid of—at least not in Medicine Hat, anyways.
According to the Calgary Herald, tattoo regulations can be quite different across the globe. Apparently, applicants to the UK’s Metropolitan Police need to include pictures of their tats along with their application form, while The Big Apple takes a similar approach to The Hat, banning “visible tattoos, brands, body piercings and other art while in uniform.” No ma’am, that NYPD officer does not have a Picasso in his pants—it’s against regulations. But I think Calgary takes the most sensible approach. The Herald quotes CPD policy, which states, “Tattoos deemed offensive, unprofessional, or ones that ‘undermine the dignity or authority of law enforcement’ must be covered up,” adding that the chief has the final say as to what’s acceptable. Makes more sense than a ban across the board, if you ask me.