NY Police Dept Allows Sikh Officers To Wear Turbans, Grow Beards

Currently, there are about 160 Sikh officers in the NYPD’s ranks.

1 min read
Sikh officers of the NYPD. (Photo courtesy: <a href="">Sikh Officers Assoc.</a>/Twitter)

The New York Police Department will allow its Sikh officers to wear turbans and maintain beards, relaxing its uniform policy. The move is an attempt to practice religious inclusiveness.

New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill announced the measures being taken towards ensuring religious accommodation to its officers following a graduation ceremony for new police recruits on Wednesday.

Under the revised policy, officers from the Sikh faith will be allowed to have beards half an inch long. The officers may also wear blue turbans — with a hat shield affixed to it — in place of the traditional police cap.

“We're making this change to make sure that we allow everybody in New York City that wants to apply and have the opportunity to work in the greatest police department in the nation, to make sure we give them that opportunity,” the commissioner said.

The Commissioner said there are about 160 Sikh officers currently in the ranks and he was looking to expand those numbers.

Sikh advocacy group Sikh Coalition welcomed the move, saying it will send a strong message that there ought to be no discrimination against members of the community, which has contributed significantly to the city and the country.

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