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March 30, 2023

N.J. state trooper under investigation for tattoo linked to white supremacist groups

A headshot released when Det. Jason Dare went missing earlier this month showed the phrase 'Blood & Honor' on his neck

Investigations Police
NJ State Trooper Tattoo Provided Image/New Jersey State Police

The 'Blood & Honor' tattoo on the neck of New Jersey state trooper Jason Dare is the subject of an internal affairs investigation. The phrase is connected to skinhead and white supremacist groups.

A New Jersey state trooper has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into a neck tattoo of a phrase associated with white supremacist groups.

The tattoo, which reads "Blood & Honor," was visible in a photograph shared by police after the trooper, Det. Jason Dare, went missing from a medical facility in Media, Delaware County on March 18. Dare, 46, was found last week.

That phrase is widely associated with skinhead groups in the U.S. and England, according to the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The slogan was popularized in Nazi Germany by the Hitler Youth group, whose "Blut & Ehre" motto was translated and embraced by hate groups in later generations.

New Jersey State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan confirmed to that an internal affairs investigation is underway. Dare is currently on paid leave.

"There is no room for hate, prejudicial rhetoric or divisive behavior in our organization, an organization that was built on our core values of honor, duty and fidelity," Callahan said.

During the search for Dare, state police did not provide any details on the circumstances of Dare's time at the medical facility or why he left. Police said they believed the Cumberland County man was potentially in danger. reported that Dare's public Facebook profile — which has since been made private — included photos of him with several other tattoos, including iron crosses on his wrist and the head of a pit bull. The latter is connected to a group called the Keystone State Skinheads, according to the ADL.

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin said the "Blood & Honor" tattoo would be a violation of the New Jersey police licensure law signed last year by Gov. Phil Murphy. That law, which takes effect later this year, can deny or revoke credentials for law enforcement officers who demonstrate discriminatory hatred or bias.

"While I cannot comment on a matter that is currently under investigation, I can say – in no uncertain terms – that there is no place for hate in the New Jersey State Police or within the ranks of the 38,000 sworn law enforcement officers in New Jersey," Platkin said Thursday. 

"As police licensure takes shape in New Jersey, we will ensure that the requirements provide the public with the assurance of professionalism, qualification and accountability for all law enforcement officers. To be clear, it would be a violation of the new police licensure law to be an active member of a group that advocates for discrimination based on classes protected by the Law Against Discrimination."

After Dare was found last week, New Jersey State Police removed its previous Facebook posts about him.

The state police tattoo policy states that no tattoos, body art or brands may appear on a trooper's face, head, neck, scalp, hands, or any part of the exposed body. If tattoos are deemed visible when in uniform or civilian clothing while on duty, the policy requires that they must be removed and healed before a trooper is hired.

The state police Office of Professional Standards declined to comment on Dare's case Thursday and did not provide information about when he was hired. It's unclear whether Dare had the tattoos prior to becoming a state trooper. State records show he was hired in 2004. 

"No applicant shall publicly or privately display a tattoo/body art/brand that is prejudicial to good order, discipline, or causes a discredit to the member or the Division while acting in any capacity," the tattoo policy says.

Pennsylvania State Police assisted in locating Dare after he went missing. He was found with an associate in Pennsylvania, reported.

The "Blood & Honor" mark rose to prominence in England in the 1980s as part of the skinhead music scene. The group that formed there split into two following the death of its founder. One of the groups became more radicalized and inclined toward violence, according to the SPLC, and the affiliates that emerged among skinheads in the U.S. were linked to prominent members of the Ku Klux Klan.

The state police investigation into Dare comes on the heels of an ADL audit that reported antisemitic incidents rose 65% in Pennsylvania and 10% in New Jersey from 2021 to 2022. Nationally, the organization's Center on Extremism found a 38% increase in white supremacist propaganda efforts, reporting a record 6,751 cases last year.