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The Sikh Coalition News
July 8, 2022
  • LAPD Adopts New Policy to Accommodate Sikhs, Others

    July 8, 2022 (Los Angeles, CA) — Beginning in April of 2021, the Sikh Coalition was one of several community organizations approached by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to advise on policies and procedures, including possible changes to the uniform and grooming policy in accordance with faith practices.

    As a result of our efforts, the LAPD has since published a Training Bulletin titled Removal and Search of Religious Head Coverings and a grooming policy titled Exception to Uniform and Grooming Standards as a Religious Accommodation. These new policies will allow those who wish to secure an accommodation to serve in uniform with their turbans, hijabs, unshorn hair and other articles of faith. Among our specific recommendations, the Sikh Coalition urged the LAPD to ensure that accommodations will be available to both current officers and recruits, and that beards will not be limited in length.

    “The Training Bulletin and Policy reinforce the Department’s expectation for religious consideration to be observed throughout the communities we serve and within the Los Angeles Police Department,” said LAPD Police Chief Michel Moore. “We are fortunate to have community partners who offer insight to ensure our policies and procedures are reflective of the varied needs and expectations of their communities.”

    The Sikh Coalition is grateful to Nirinjin Singh Khalsa, a longtime partner of the organization and Commissioner of the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, for his leadership facilitating this initiative. Additionally, we recognize the leadership of other organizations—including, but not limited to, the Muslim and Jewish communities—in pushing for this policy to be inclusive of all individuals who maintain articles of faith.

    As a civil rights organization, the Sikh Coalition is committed to ending religious discrimination in every sector of the American workplace. Advocating to end discrimination in law enforcement—an employment sector that disproportionately discriminates against Sikhs due to outdated uniform and grooming standards—remains a component of our work because when law enforcement agencies reverse their policies, it further establishes precedent for all Sikhs to practice their faith fearlessly while pursuing any chosen career path.

    As a reminder, the Sikh Coalition does not proactively look for clients who want to enter law enforcement agencies or law enforcement agencies that want to alter their policies, but we will assist those who come to us for help in order to secure these kinds of inclusive policy changes. For more information about how and when the Sikh Coalition works with law enforcement agencies—including on accommodations—and what kinds of police reform we continue to advocate for at all levels of government, please review our Law Enforcement Policy Principles.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

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