MPD: Turbans Approved For Police Force | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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.

NPR

'A Hard Day's Night': A Pop Artifact That Still Crackles With Energy

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of A Hard Day's Night, a spectacular restoration is in theaters and on DVD. The black-and-white photography of the Beatles is gorgeous, and the movie isn't half bad.
NPR

The Epic 2,200-Mile Tour De France Is Also A Test Of Epic Eating

Tour de France cyclists need to eat up to 9,000 calories a day to maintain their health and weight during the race. But many teams hire chefs to elevate the meals to gourmet status.
NPR

California Nurses Union Braces For Contract Battle

The largest union of nurses in California starts contract negotiations Thursday with Kaiser Permanente's hospitals. Talks went smoothly four years ago, but this round will likely be more contentious.
NPR

A Plan To Untangle Our Digital Lives After We're Gone

In the digital age, our online accounts don't die with us. A proposed law might determine what does happen to them. But the tech industry warns the measure could threaten the privacy of the deceased.

Leave a Comment

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