Policy: Appearance Standards


The purpose of this policy is to describe appearance standards for all sworn personnel.


It is the policy of the Michigan State University Police Department (Department) that all sworn employees maintain a safe and professional image.


Personal Appearance

Hair and Facial Hair

All hair styles shall be clean and neatly groomed. The length, bulk and appearance of the hair shall not be ragged, unkempt, or extreme in appearance. Hair that is combed forward will not extend beyond the eyebrow.

Personnel Identifying as Male

Hair will not fall over the ears and may not extend onto the uniform collar.

Sideburns: must be neatly trimmed with the base a clean-shaven, horizontal line.

Sideburns will not extend downward beyond the mid-point of the ear and may not be flared.

Moustaches: may be worn as long as it is neatly trimmed, with no portion of the moustache shall extend greater than one-quarter inch (¼”) beyond the corners of the mouth and a moustache shall not extend past the top of the upper lip.

Beards and goatees are permitted, but must be neat, clean and well maintained to present a professional appearance.

Beard and goatee facial hair shall not exceed one half inch (1/2”) in length, must be accompanied by a mustache, and is contiguous with no designs shaved into it.

The neck area is to be clean-shaven.

If a department member intends to grow facial hair, they must initiate growing the facial hair during a period of at least two consecutive days off to not give the appearance of failing to shave.

A department member may be required to shave for annual respirator fit tests or when the use of a respirator is likely.

Personnel Identifying as Female

When wearing a uniform, a female officer’s hair shall be held back so as not to cover the eyes; long hair shall be tied back securely with a simple barrette or hair tie (no ribbons); shall not prevent proper use of wearing the uniform hat and shall not hang in front of the shoulders.

Hair must not be worn by any female officer in a way that is unsafe or impedes the on-duty use of equipment.


Body Piercing Jewelry

While on-duty, personnel may wear earring jewelry according to the following rules.

May wear no more than one ear-piercing article of jewelry attached to each ear; and then only single-post type jewelry.

May not wear hoops or hanging jewelry in the ear.

May not wear any other visible body piercing while working.

Sworn personnel shall not wear any of the following jewelry while on duty:

Visible necklaces

Bracelets on the wrist or ankle, except wrist watches.

Wearing expensive jewelry is discouraged, due to hazards that may be present in the work environment.

Body Art

While at work, sworn personnel may not appear with any visible tattoos, branding or other forms of body art on the neck, head, hands, or face.

Sworn personnel must ensure that any body art in those restricted areas are either:

Covered by clothing that is consistent with uniform requirements, or

Covered by some other means, such as flesh-toned bandaging or flesh-toned cosmetics.

While at work, all other visible body art on sworn personnel, shall not be obscene, disrespectful, or biased in nature; as determined by the Chief of Police (Chief) or designee.

If determined to be obscene, disrespectful, or biased in nature, the sworn member shall keep the body art either:

Covered by clothing that is consistent with uniform requirements, or

Covered in some other manner, such as flesh-toned bandaging or flesh-toned cosmetics.

Tobacco Use

No personnel may use any type of tobacco product while on-duty.

In conjunction with the University’s tobacco ban, all personnel may not use any type of tobacco product on University property. This includes the use of e-cigarettes or similar technology producing smoke-like by products.

Deviation and Exceptions

Personnel may be granted exceptions or permission to deviate from this procedure upon approval of the Chief.


Supervisors shall be responsible for inspection of the appearance, equipment and uniforms of personnel throughout their tours of duty.