India Abroad

New York Police Dept Gets Its First Ever Female Turbaned Sikh Auxiliary Police Officer

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| May 20 , 2018 , 12:26 IST

In a significant step for the inclusion of Sikhs in the US, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has got its first female turbaned Sikh auxiliary police officer on Saturday, in a move aimed to motivate others to join law enforcement and create better understanding of Sikhism.

After graduating last week from the New York City Police Academy, Gursoach Kaur will be joining the NYPD as an Auxiliary Police Officer (APO).

"We are proud to welcome first Sikh turbaned female Auxiliary Police Officer in the New York Police Department. APO Gursoach Kaur and other Auxiliary Police Officers graduated from the academy. We are proud of you. Stay safe," the Sikh Officers Association tweeted.

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Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri also hailed the inclusion of  Gursoach in the NYPD, and expressed hope that it will increase understanding of Sikhs and Sikhism.

"Delighted to see a turbaned lady officer in NYPD. Hope this fosters better understanding of Sikhism and Sikhs and corrects perceptions in the US so that incident which happened with me in 2010 and recently with Canada minister Navdeep Bains do not recur. Sikhs are ambassadors of harmony," Puri tweeted.

Puri referred to the 2010 incident when he as an Ambassador to the UN was asked by US airport officials to remove his turban, and to the recent incident in 2018 when Canadian Minister Navdeep Bains was asked to remove his turban at a US airport.

According to New York Police commissioner James O'Neill in 2016, there were around 160 Sikh officers in various ranks and he was looking to expand the numbers.

In December 2016, the New York Police Department announced that it would allow Sikh officers to wear turbans and maintain beards, relaxing its uniform policies to promote inclusiveness and encourage the minority community members to join the police forces.