(CBS Seattle) — The Seattle Police Department is loosening its rules on pot use and tattoos for new recruits, according to KOMO News.

Mayor Mike McGinn announced the changes Monday morning, saying the change is to create a police force that’s more representative of the public it serves.

Seattle Police officials said the previous tattoo policy was confusing for applicants, who sometimes thought tattoos would automatically disqualify them. The department’s new policy will look at each case individually, and clarifies that tattoos will not disqualify an applicant as long as that applicant can still maintain a professional appearance, KOMO reported.

The rules regarding marijuana use have also been changed. New recruits must not have used marijuana in the past year. According to KOMO, the previous requirement state recruits could not have used pot in the past three years and fewer than 25 times overall. Officers, like all city employees, will not be allowed to use pot at all if hired.

McGinn says the department aims to hire 300 new police officers over the next five years.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. KOMO News contributed to this report.)


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