The Philadelphia Police Department. The Philadelphia Sheriff's Office. SEPTA Transit Police. The U.S. Marshals Service. The FBI.

None of those agencies has a tattoo policy, officials said Friday, meaning that Philadelphia Police Officer Ian Lichterman - whose apparent Nazi-style tattoo on his left forearm drew ire this week from Mayor Kenney and other critics - would not violate department directives at many of the region's law enforcement agencies, including his own.

"No policy on that," said SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch.

"As far as we know, there's no direct policy involving tattoos," said sheriff's spokesman Joseph Blake.

Of the half-dozen agencies contacted Friday, only the Pennsylvania State Police has a policy regarding tattoos.

That policy, in place for at least a decade, prohibits recruits from joining the department with tattoos visible while wearing a short-sleeve uniform, said Trooper Adam Reed, a department spokesman.

Existing officers who want a tattoo on a forearm, neck, or face must obtain approval from a review board, Reed said. The process includes submitting the tattoo's design for consideration, and offensive or lewd images almost certainly would be rejected, Reed said.

He added that "not many" officers ask for permission each year.

In the wake of public criticism of Lichterman - which began Wednesday night after a photo of his tattoo was posted to social media - the Police Department said it would review whether to draft a tattoo policy. But it acknowledged that any directive must balance several issues, including freedom of expression and departmental credibility.

"We must ensure that all constitutional rights are adhered to while at the same time ensuring public safety and public trust aren't negatively impacted," department officials said in a statement.

Lichterman did not respond to requests for comment Friday.

Meanwhile, FOP Lodge 5 president John McNesby, speaking Friday to host Dom Giordano on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, said he expected to have conversations with the department over a potential tattoo policy.

He said Lichterman was a 17-year veteran of the department who also had served overseas in the military. For those reasons and others, McNesby said, he considered the controversy unwarranted and overblown.

"We have shootings every day, homicides, rapes, murders, burglaries, robberies - and we're worried about a tattoo?" McNesby said. "I think our priorities are a little backward."

215-854-2817 @cs_palmer