COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – The Ohio State Highway Patrol has expanded its tattoo acceptance among troopers and the change is taking effect “immediately.”

In a press release officials said, current troopers and potential applicants are now permitted to wear their long sleeve uniform shirt to cover tattoos.

Previously, according to a recruitment page, troopers could not have “any visible tattoos, brandings, or body art while wearing any class of issued uniform.” And the policy stated, “Optional wear uniform items or any other item that would cover/conceal a visible tattoo, branding, or body art may not be used in order to comply with the standard.”

Officials say, as part of the policy change, troopers with visible tattoos will now wear an issued long-sleeve uniform shirt year-round.

“We are, and always have been, a professional organization built upon serving the people of Ohio. With this change we will continue to do just that, while also recognizing the diversity of those who wish to serve,” said Colonel Charles Jones.

The change comes at a time when many communities, including Cleveland, have reported challenges recruiting new officers.