Being out of shape distracts more from a law enforcement officer's professional appearance than having a tattoo, a survey by the Kansas Highway Patrol found.

The highway patrol, facing a shortage of troopers, conducted the survey to determine whether to change its policy that prohibits troopers from having tattoos.

The patrol surveyed 21,525 people of whom about 85% had at least taken some college or were college graduates.

Of the respondents, only 28% agreed the highway patrol should have a policy prohibiting visible tattoos, 69% disagreed, and 3% didn't answer or have an opinion.

In addition, only 31% agreed the agency should allow only tattoos that are covered by the uniform, 64% disagreed, and 5% did not answer or have an opinion, the Lawrence Journal-World reports.

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