Gursoach Kaur has become the first Sikh woman police officer to join the New York Police Department. She has joined as an Auxiliary Police Officer (APO) and proudly wears her turban, a sign of understanding Sikhism in the foreign lands. Kaur's induction will definitely serve an inspiration for other women to join the force of law enforcement.
The Sikh Officers Association were very happy and proud of the fact that Gursoach got the honour. "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," they tweeted. The association also expressed the same feeling on their Facebook page. "Your service will be a motivation for others to join the Law enforcement Family," it said. Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri also tweeted about Gursoach's achievement of being the first turbaned woman police officer.
Check out his tweet:
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
Puri who was an ambassador to the UN in 2010 was asked to remove his turban at the security check at the Houston airport. And on refusing to do so he was held in the waiting room for about an hour. Similar instances have been faced by other Sikhs at the airport.
In order to make the NYPD a diverse force, the department had made an important change to allow turbans in the uniforms of the police officers. The policy change came about in December 2016 when NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill announced, "It's a major change in our uniform policy, so we had to go about it carefully. And now I have the opportunity to make the change, and I thought it was about time that we did that. While the NYPD patrol guide maintains a strict policy regarding head coverings, officers will now be able to wear turbans with a religious exemption signed by top department officials." At that time there were about 160 police officers serving different ranks in the NYPD and they aimed to increase that number. The change in the policy was one way to encourage diversification and acceptance of the culture. With Gursoach Kaur taking the first step, we are sure we will see more Sikh women following her steps and being a part of the law enforcement team.