Tags: Law Enforcement | nypd | policy | officers | turbans | beards | sikh

NYPD Changes Policy to Allow Officers to Wear Turbans, Beards

Image: NYPD Changes Policy to Allow Officers to Wear Turbans, Beards

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 29 Dec 2016 11:44 AM

The New York City Police Department has changed its policy to allow officers who are Sikhs to sport beards and turbans while wearing their uniforms on duty.

The move was announced Wednesday. According to The New York Times, the NYPD joins police departments in Washington, D.C. and Riverside, Calif., along with the U.S. Army, to grant the religious exception.

Under the new rule, officers of the Sikh faith can sport a beard that's a half inch in length. They can wear blue turbans but must attach the NYPD shield typically found on their caps to it.

The old policy did not allow turbans in place of a cap and only allowed beards of one millimeter in length, the latter being allowed in medical or religious exceptions.

"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," NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said, the Times reports.

The NYPD's Sikh Officers Association has roughly 150 members, according to the report. Officials believe the new policy will encourage more diversity on the force.

According to the Associated Press, Sikh officers were forced to wear their turbans under their department-issued caps. Beards were not allowed because they made it difficult to wear gas masks properly.

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The New York City Police Department has changed its policy to allow officers who are Sikhs to sport beards and turbans while wearing their uniforms on duty.
nypd, policy, officers, turbans, beards, sikh
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2016-44-29
Thursday, 29 Dec 2016 11:44 AM
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