By Asia Samachar Team | UNITED STATES |
Amrit Singh made history as the first Sikh deputy constable ever in Harris County, Texas, that has been paving the way for diversity in its force.
The eager-to-serve Amrit was sworn in yesterday (21 Jan), making him yet another observing Sikh to join the men in blue. He joins the Office of Constable Alan Rosen in Harris County Constable Precinct 1.
“From day one, we have worked to ensure that we are an employer of inclusion,” Constable Alan Rosen said at the swearing-in ceremony.
He said the force strived to “treat people by the content of their character, not by the colour of their skin.”
“The same goes for religion….we have a law enforcement force and a supervisory staff that reflects the diversity of the community that we represent,” he said.
As a Jewish himself, Alan said he ‘knows too well how it felt to be religiously targetted’ and how important it was to teach inclusion, understanding and tolerance.
In a social media entry, the precinct also announced that it would be adopting a policy allowing deputy constables to wear articles of faith now while on duty.
The ceremony also heard the mention of Sheriff’s Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, the 41-year old officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty on 27 Sept. In 2015, he held the distinction of being the first-ever Sikh officer in Texas who fought for and won the rights to wear a turban.
In July 2019, Marietta, a city northwest of Atlanta, greeted its first observing Sikh police officer when the Marietta Police Department announced that it would allow Sikhs in uniform to wear a turban and maintain the beard.
TO WATCH CEREMONY ON FACEBOOK, CLICK HERE.
In this pioneering achievement, Deputy Singh received full religious accommodation due to the policies Harris County has in place through the work of Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF).
SALDEF regional director Bobby Singh has been working with Constable Rosen, the Houston Police Department (HPD) and the Harris County Sheriff’s office for over 20 years. His work has reached over 12,500 members of law enforcement in the capacity of religious accommodations and cultural awareness trainings.
“After years of working to develop the religious accommodation policy in partnership with Harris County and Constable Alan Rosen I am thrilled to see it implemented and even more proud to see a Sikh American rise in the ranks of law enforcement,” Bobby said in a statement emailed to Asia Samachar.
The legacy of fallen officer Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal lives on through through officers like Deputy Constable Amrit Singh and all the trailblazers for which Deputy Dhaliwal paved the way, the statement added.
Sikhs globally lost a ‘hero’ in Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal (Asia Samachar, 1 Oct 2019)
Another US police department allows Sikhs to don turban, keep beard (Asia Samachar, 3 July 2019)