Harris Co. deputy to serve with turban and beard

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Friday, February 6, 2015

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A Sikh-American Harris County Sheriff's Office deputy will now be able to wear articles of his religion while on duty.

Sheriff Adrian Garcia announced earlier this week that six-year HCSO veteran Sandeep Dhaliwal will be allowed to wear a dastaar and beard when in full uniform. At a press conference today, Garcia and other county officials made it official.

"Sandeep has been everything we've asked of a public servant," said Sheriff Garcia. "He's been a servant leader and my commitment to the community was that we'd make sure that tokenism or window dressing wouldn't be how we count change, but rather that we'd make a meaningful difference."

As a Sikh American, I felt the need to represent the Sikh community in law enforcement," said Sandeep.

Sikhs do not cut their hair, and Sikh men and women cover their head with turbans. These articles of faith represent a Sikh's commitment to equality, service and justice.

Sonia Azad is following this story for Eyewitness News today. Watch for her reports beginning on Eyewitness News at 4pm.