The Fire Department, the Mayor and Fallout over the "No Show" Tattoo Policy

The Mayor's office is denying to the Weekly reports on other local

websites that he has a long-concealed tattoo reading “Born To Raise Hell.” Antonio got slammed on Tuesday by the Mayor Sam blog over a controversy boiling up in the Los Angeles Fire Department, first reported right here, in which firefighters are being ordered to wear long sleeves or even bandages to cover their tattoos.

After the Daily News wrote about the controversy on Tuesday, Mayor Sam went to town slamming the LAFD’s “no show” tattoo policy, then wrote:

"And it's amazing to consider, when we have a mayor who reportedly never is seen without his shirt off nor wearing short sleeves because he sports gang tattoos from his youth."

Gang tattoos? If only! The allegation stems from a website called Bruin Alumni Association, which insists the mayor got his tattoo while a radical student at UCLA.

But nah, says Antonio's office. The mayor doesn’t sport a tattoo now. However, his office wasn't sure whether he had one before. Who knows what the real deal is here? Please weigh in if you know.

Meanwhile, we do have an interesting bit of news about a New Hampshire firefighter who started a website that claims to be the "Internet's first website dedicated to the art of firefighters tattoos."

The story was first published in the Frederick News-Post on Sunday. It profiled veteran firefighter Roger Hall, who was looking for a way to commemorate his years of dedicated service on the fire department in ink. He decided to start strikethebox.com in 2001 and asked his fellow firefighters to submit photos of their ink on his website.

They obliged. The amazing site now features over 3,000 tattoos from firefighters all over the world including Israel, Mexico and Belgium. Hall said the website attracts more than 800,000 people monthly.

So what’s up, LA?

The Los Angeles Fire Department said they are just following the lead of other agencies that make their firefighters cover up the ink. It's nothing personal, said a fire department spokesman. But to many firefighters, a tattoo is a symbol of loyalty, family and honor. If the LAFD doesn’t understand that, maybe they need to check out Hall’s website. It's all about that.


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