Houston: Indian-American law enforcement officer, Amrit Singh, has created history by becoming the first ever turban-wearing Sikh to be sworn in as Deputy Constable in Texas state’s Harris County.
The 21-year-old wears the articles of his faith — turban and beard — proudly while serving in the line of duty, Indica News said in a report on Friday.
Singh was sworn-in on Tuesday.
Constable Alan Rosen Harris County tweeted: “A historic day as we swear in Deputy Constable Amrit Singh – the FIRST Sikh deputy Constable ever in Harris County. We’ve also now adopted a new policy which specifically allows our deputy constables to wear articles of faith in uniform.”
After the swearing in ceremony, Singh said: “Growing up, I always wanted to be a Deputy and my Sikh faith was also very important to me. Constable Alan Rosen was the first one to give me a call back. He opened this agency with open arms for me.”
Singh will now have to undergo months of field training, after which he will be assigned to patrol.
The swearing-in ceremony also coincided with the adoption of the new policy by the state that allows law enforcement officers in nearly every single Harris County Constable’s Office to wear articles of their faith while in uniform.
The policy came into force to honour the memory of Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, the first Sikh Deputy in Harris County who was shot dead while on duty last September, reports Indica News.
In 2009, Dhaliwal became the first Sikh to join the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and in 2015, he became the first Sikh law enforcement officer to be allowed to wear his articles of faith in uniform.
Following the death of the officer, law enforcement agencies in California, Washington and in Texas have signalled willingness to change their policies, said Manpreet Singh of the Sikh Coalition.
The new policy has been welcomed by the members if the Sikh community residing in the US.