Tuesday 23 June 2009

California Police Chiefs Reaffirm Acceptance of Sikh Identity


California Police Chiefs Reaffirm Acceptance of Sikh Identity
(Washington, DC) – Late last week, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) received confirmation that observant Sikhs are still welcome to join the Yuba City Police Department in Yuba City, California. On January 23, 2007, former Yuba City Police Chief Richard Doscher corresponded with SALDEF in the context of an employment matter and wrote: "We have no policy which precludes an employee of the Sikh faith from wearing a turban or beard (or possession of a kirpan) during their employment with us."
According to current Yuba City Police Chief Robert D. Landon, "[o]ur policy has not changed and we continue to respect the customs of the Sikh faith[.]"SALDEF is grateful to Chief Landon and the Yuba City Police Department for their leadership in the cause of promoting equal employment opportunities for observant Sikh Americans who aspire to serve as law enforcement officers. Richmond, CA Police Department also welcomes Sikh American Police Officers. SALDEF is hopeful that Other Police departments will follow suit. Following the announcement that observant Sikh Americans are welcome to join the Yuba City Police Department with their articles of faith intact, Richmond (CA) Police Chief Chris Magnus issued written confirmation yesterday that observant Sikh Americans are also welcome to join the Richmond Police Department in Richmond, California.Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Richmond Police Department serves a community of more than 102,000 residents of diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds.Responding to an email dated June 16, 2009 from local Sikh American community leader Dr. J.P. Singh -- an email which contained SALDEF's recent Press Release regarding the Yuba City Police Department's acceptance of the Sikh identity -- Chief Chris Magnus confirmed that observant Sikh Americans are welcome to apply for jobs at his agency. "The Richmond Police Department welcomes applications from members of the Sikh community for the position of police officer as well as other jobs within the Police Department. We recognize and take pride in serving a diverse community which we are aware includes a significant number of Sikhs. Our department continually looks for applicants who represent the diversity of the community and we appreciate the value they bring to our agency. Any employee who is of the Sikh faith would not be prohibited from wearing a turban or having a beard. We encourage anyone who would like information about employment opportunities with the Richmond Police Department to contact us."Chief Chris MagnusRichmond (CA) Police DepartmentSALDEF is grateful to Dr. J.P. Singh for proactively reaching out to the Richmond Police Department and to Chief Magnus and the entire Richmond Police Department for their leadership in the cause of promoting equal employment opportunities for observant Sikh Americans who aspire to serve as law enforcement officers. As always, SALDEF will continue to work with police departments nationwide to strengthen relations between law enforcement agencies and the Sikh American community under the auspices of SALDEF's Law Enforcement Partnership Program.

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