Sikh Community Calls For NYPD Dress Code Policy Reform
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Civil rights advocates launched a petition Friday to force the New York City Police Department to reform their dress code, which bans Sikh officers from wearing religious garb on the job.
The Sikh Coalition and United Sikhs joined City Comptroller John Liu in calling on the NYPD to change their policy.
Departmental rules prohibit Sikh officers from wearing turbans or full beards when in uniform, which is a practice required by their faith.
Commissioner Ray Kelly said there are reasonable accommodations in place for the Sikh members of the department but critics said they don’t go far enough.
Advocates cited recent changes to dress codes made by other agencies, including the MTA.
"This city has always fought for the rights of the minorities and somehow, here, we feel like that we are getting excluded from that right,” said Harpreet Singh Toor, the chairman of Public and External Affairs at the Sikh Cultural Society.
“Faith should not be a barrier to any job especially in the place where religious freedom was born," Liu said.
Copies of the petition will be circulated throughout the city and is available online at change.org.