The New York Police Department is allowing Sikh officers to wear turbans instead of traditional caps, and grow their beards up to half an inch long for religious reasons, Police Commissioner James O’Neill announced Wednesday.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony for new recruits at Madison Square Garden, O’Neil said there were some 160 Sikh officers that could benefit from the new rules.
In the past, Sikh officers had to wear a patka (a turban worn by members of the Sikh faith to exhibit honor, courage and piety) under a cap and also weren’t allowed any beard growth above 1 millimeter, as they interfered with gas masks, the Associated Press reports. Now, as long as they get approval, they can proudly wear a navy blue turban with the NYPD insignia attached. Read more…