The first female Sikh officer in the New York Police Department, Gursoach Kaur is a name to reckon with. The turbaned Auxiliary Police Officer’s (APO) induction aims to inspire others to join law enforcement as well as help create a better understanding of Sikhism.
Last week after graduation from New York City Police Academy, Kaur is all set to join the NYPD, mentioned PTI report.
We are proud to welcome first #Sikh Turbaned female Auxiliary Police Officer in the @NYPDnews. APO Gursoach Kaur and other Auxiliary Police Officers graduated from the Academy. We are proud of you. Stay safe. #sikhsinlawenforcement pic.twitter.com/P4q2ysUVbK
— Sikh Officers Assoc. (@SikhOfficers) May 16, 2018
Sikh Officers Association is the first organization of the country to represent Sikh Officers in Law Enforcement.
In their twitter handle, it said, “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. #sikhsinlawenforcement.”
Further, the association in a Facebook post said, it is “proud” to welcome Kaur in their police department. “APO Gursoch Kaur and other Auxiliary Police Officers graduated from the Academy. We are proud of you. Your service will be a motivation for others to join the Law enforcement Family.”
Minister of state for housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri also congratulated Kaur in a tweet. He said, “Delighted to see a turbaned lady officer in NYPD. Hope this fosters a 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.
Delighted to see a turbaned lady officer in NYPD. Hope this fosters better understanding of Sikhism & Sikhs & corrects perceptions in US so that incident which happened with me in 2010 & recently with @Canada minister @NavdeepSBains do not recur.
Sikhs are ambassadors of harmony https://t.co/cviJAI6hWD
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 19, 2018
The 2010 incident that Puri referred to in his tweet was when he was the then Ambassador of the UN and was asked by the airport officials at Houston Airport to remove the turban during a security check. When he refused to remove his turban, he was made to wait by the officials in a ‘holding room’ for half-an-hour.
The matter was sorted only after a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) official, who was accompanying Puri had intervened. Later, an official protest was lodged by India on US authorities over the incident.
In 2016, New York Police commissioner James O’Neill said, there are about 160 Sikh officers serving in various ranks and he was looking to expand those numbers, mentioned PTI report.
Under the revised policy of NYPD, Sikh officers were allowed to have beards which extended up to one-half inch from the face. Further, in place of the traditional police cap, the officers shall also wear blue turbans ‘with a hat shield affixed to it’.
“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,” O’Neill had said while making the announcement after a police academy graduation ceremony, mentioned the report.