Deputy Constable Amrit Singh was sworn in Jan. 21 as the first Sikh Deputy Constable in Harris County, Texas, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund said in a news release.
Constable Alan Rosen oversaw the swearing-in and pinning ceremony that took place at the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office.
In this pioneering achievement, the Indian American officer will be receiving full religious accommodation due to the policies Harris County has in place through the work of SALDEF Regional Director Bobby Singh, the news release said.
Bobby Singh has been working with Constable Alan Rosen, the Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff’s office for over 20 years, SALDEF notes.
His work has reached over 12,500 members of law enforcement in the capacity of religious accommodations and cultural awareness trainings, it said.
“After years of working to develop the religious accommodation policy in partnership with Harris County and Constable Alan Rosen, I am thrilled to see it implemented and even more proud to see a Sikh American rise in the ranks of law enforcement,” Bobby Singh said in a statement.
SALDEF, in its news release, applauded Deputy Constable Singh for this landmark achievement and thanked both Rosen for his leadership and focus on inclusion, and Bobby Singh for his dedication and service to the Sikh American community in the Greater Houston area.
“Constable Rosen and Mr. Bobby Singh have shown what law enforcement and community partnership efforts can yield when they are done consistently and in good faith,” said SALDEF executive director Kiran Kaur Gill in a statement.
The legacy of fallen officer Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal lives on through officers like Deputy Constable Amrit Singh and all the trailblazers for which Deputy Dhaliwal paved the way, SALDEF said.
SALDEF will continue to advocate for uniform accommodation policies nationwide and also Sikh Awareness trainings for law enforcement through our Law Enforcement Partnership Program to ensure that all who want to serve are able to do so with both dignity and respect for their culture and religion, it added.
According to a report on houstonpublicmedia.org, Singh at the ceremony: “Growing up I always wanted to be a deputy,” adding that at the age of 20, he attended police academy and then sought out a place to work that would be inclusive of his religious beliefs and customs.
“I didn’t want to give up my religion to serve,” said Singh. “The constable’s office opened their doors to me, where I didn’t have to sacrifice any part of me,” he was quoted as saying in the report.
Singh will now go on to months of field training, after which he will be assigned to patrol within Precinct One.
Under the new policy, Singh will be allowed to wear his turban while on-duty.