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.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, June 3, 2015

A play and an exhibit explore luxury, power and how women present themselves and are perceived.

NPR

Grass Gourmands: A Herbivore Food Mystery On The African Savanna

A new study sheds light on a longstanding ecological question: How do so many species like impalas and elephants co-exist when they're all feeding on the same limited foods?
NPR

Sen. Menendez's Corruption Trial Hasn't Begun, But Legal Sparring Has

The Justice Department indicted the New Jersey Democrat just two months ago on bribery and conspiracy charges. But lawyers in the case already seem to be getting under each other's skin.
NPR

Experts Debate: Will Computers Edge People Out Of Entire Careers?

Machines have been taking jobs forever. Computers and software are doing things people were paid to do. They are booking airplane flights. Filing our taxes. And they are getting better all the time.

Leave a Comment

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