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NYPD Will Now Allow Muslims and Sikhs to Wear Turbans and Grow Beards in Uniform

It was announced yesterday by the New York Police Department that officers who are Muslim or Sikh can now wear turbans and grow beards while in uniform.

Per Commissioner James P. O’Neill, officers who get a religious accommodation can wear a blue turban rather than their traditional hat and grow beards that are up to a half-inch from their face.

According to the New York Times, while the revised polices go into effect next month, Sikh and Muslim officers can take advantage immediately.

Groups representing Sikh and Muslim officers within the department said members who were previously granted religious accommodations are already allowed to take advantage of the revised policies, which are expected to be finalized next month. The Muslim Officers Society and the newer Sikh Officers Association, which have more than 1,100 members combined, had been pushing for the changes.

The announcement was made at Madison Square Garden during a graduation of the police academy. The latest graduating class had 33 Muslims and two Sikhs.

The president of the Sikh Officers Association, Gurvinder Singh, feels that the new rules will lead to more Sikhs to sign up for the force.

“A lot of their kids wanted to join, but they couldn’t,” Singh noted. “And now they can. This country has given us a lot, and now we want to pay it back.”

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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