WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

MPD: Turbans Approved For Police Force

Play associated audio
Members of the Sikh community attended the MPD press conference on the rule changes.
Markette Smith
Members of the Sikh community attended the MPD press conference on the rule changes.

For the first time in the history of the Metropolitan Police Department, the first officer to wear a turban joins the department. This, thanks to a new policy that now allows officers to protect and serve while wearing religious garb.

Chief Cathy Lanier says the police department is actively looking for recruits and she's not going disqualify based on religion. Even if a religion calls for its members to wear a head wrap.

"People have to be progressive and forward-thinking and inclusive," she says. "So when people ask me why are we doing this, I would say why wouldn't we do this?"

The decision comes as the police academy plans to graduate its first recruit in August who is a member of India's Sikh religion.

"This policy represents a significant step forward for civil rights, for religious freedom," says Sikh advocate Jasjit Singh.

Singh estimates there are about 25,000 people in the Washington Metro area who follow the religion. Its male members are known for wearing turbans and growing long beards as a symbol of their faith and respect.

"We sort of wear our uniform every day," says Singh. "And that's why it's wonderful to have the MPD stand with us and for us to really have these two uniforms standing together serving a common purpose."

In addition to street patrol, the new recruit will conduct outreach in the Sikh community.


In Trove Of Kids' Book Treasures, A Glimpse Of The Work Behind The Magic

Once a doctor's hobby, the Kerlan Collection is now one of the world's great collections of children's literature. Over 100,000 books offer visitors a chance to see the writer's process — for free.
WAMU 88.5

Invasive Insect Could Wreak Havoc On U.S. Tomato Crop

A virginia tech plant pathologist says it's time to implement quarantine measures on tomatoes being imported from other countries where the South American Tomato Leafminer has already taken hold.
WAMU 88.5

Maryland Activists Call For Policing Reforms

Monday night, a group of activists plan to ask lawmakers to sign on to a list of priorities they say are key to improving police accountability when there's misconduct.

#MemeOfTheWeek: That Article From The Onion About Mass Shootings

The article reveals what the writers really feel about mass shootings in America, something mainstream media couldn't do.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.