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Sheriff Al Bans Tats and Gold Teeth

New Florida Democratic Chairman Rod Smith wants to hear from people about what needs to be done to improve the party.

"We need your help," Smith wrote on the party's website. "Please let us know your thoughts and suggestions on how we can better represent and elect Democrats all around the state. Tell us what you think the Florida Democratic Party does right or let us know what you think we can improve upon. Your advice will help me be successful as Chairman."

Well, I think some Democrats in Broward might have some things to say about the party's leadership in these parts. Click here to sound off to Smith.

Onto the marquee story: This morning, a new policy was read off at Broward Sheriff's Office roll call: Deputies are no longer allowed to have visible tattoos, piercings, or gold teeth.

Inside read about the policy -- and find out whom it has upset most.

Here's the new policy:

Sheriff Al Bans Tats and Gold Teeth

Here's what sheriff's spokesman Jim Leljedal said about it.

"The tattoo policy was recently enacted and distributed, and basically we've adopted the military model, which is to prohibit tattoos that are visible in uniform," said Leljedal. "If there is a small tattoo on the forearm, it's OK, but anything more isn't allowed, and there can be no neck tattoos or face tattoos."

Sources tell me that the most controversial part of the new policy is the ban on gold teeth. Here's how it reads:

Sheriff Al Bans Tats and Gold Teeth

I'm already hearing complaints that the "dental ornamentation" policy unfairly singles out black deputies, many of whom work in the jail and many of whom have already been hit with pay cuts. Presumably, some of those deputies will have to now pay to have the gold teeth removed if they want to keep their jobs.

Leljedal said there was nothing discriminatory about the gold teeth ban and noted that it was approved by both police unions without a word. 

"I don't think so. This is across the board; it applies to everyone. The tattoos, piercings -- it's men and women, black and white," said Leljedal. "I have a friend of mine who has gold fillings. To say this is targeting a specific group, that is ridiculous."


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