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Reports emanating from New York says that New York Police Department has passed a new policy that allows Sikh officers to wear full turbans on duty. The policy change was announced by the NYPD commissioner James O’Neil on Wednesday at a Press conference.
NYPD officers can now wear turbans and grow longer beards
The idea behind the policy change was to make the NYPD workforce very diverse. The previous policy forbade officers from wearing head coverings that are not part of the NYPD regalia. Even though this is a major uniform policy change for the NYPD, O’Neill was confident it was a step in the right direction.
The NYPD boasts of 160 Sikh police officers in its ranks. The norm among the Sikh officers before the policy change was to wear little wraps underneath their official police cap. The Sikh officers are excited they can serve with their full turban on.
The NYPD also announced a new policy that will allow officers to grow a beard up to half an inch long as part of its religious accommodation. Before this officers were only allowed to grow beards up to a millimeter in length.
The Sikh community in New York applauded the new policies but called on the police department of the city referred to as the big apple to go further on the bearded police stating that they look forward to a time when Sikhs can serve with without any restrictions.
Earlier in the Summer, Syed an office charged the NYPD to court after he was suspended for wearing a beard that whose length contravened the NYPD’s beard policy. Syed has also echoed the stands of the Sikh community. He called the policy change disappointing.
Syed’s Lawyer believes that his legal tussle with the NYPD wasn’t just for Muslims but for all other races and religions who face restrictions when they enlist to the serve the police department.
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