NYPD to allow Muslim, Sikh officers to wear turbans, grow beards
The NYPD has lifted a rule that disallowed Muslim and Sikh officers to grow beards and wear turbans.
Police Commissioner James O'Neill announced Wednesday that Sikh officers will be able to wear a navy blue turban with the NYPD logo on it.
"We look forward to actually going out with a turban, because we want people to know who Sikhs are and we're here to serve the community," says Gurvinder Singh, president of the Sikh Officers Association.
The new policies will also allow Sikh and Muslim officers to grow beards up to an inch in length. The United American Muslim Association hopes this will ease the discrimination within their communities.
"The NYPD is setting a good example by showing that they are respecting people beliefs. It's important in these days," says Abdullah Paca, imam of the United American Muslim Association.
According to the NYPD, the ban was in place because beards interfered with certain gas masks.
Commissioner O'Neill says there are over 160 Sikh officers, and he hopes this change will encourage more diversity in the force.