First Turbaned Sikh Woman Joins the NYPD

Gursoch Kaur (center), the first Indian-American woman with a Sikh turban to become part of the NYPD as an auxiliary police officer, with fellow Sikh officers of the NYPD. (Photo from the Sikh Officers Association of NYPD/Twitter via Desi Talk)

After graduating from the Police Academy as an auxiliary police officer on May 16, Indian-American Gursoch Kaur became the first turbaned Sikh woman to join the NYPD. She spoke to Desi Talk’s Ela Dutt on her role in community policing.

“We are the eyes and ears of the community,” she told Desi Talk. “I go on parades, am controlling traffic, making sure everybody is safe,” said the 20-year old, 2nd-year college student at Nassau Community College. She is majoring in accounting, and sees her current auxiliary officer position as a stepping stone to becoming a full-fledged police officer in the NYPD.

There are currently 185 Sikh police officers in NYPD, some 10 of them women, Gurvinder Singh, president of the Sikh Officers Association in NYC, told Desi Talk. Back in December 2016, turbans began to be allowed for recruits from the Sikh faith, after a long struggle by the community. And the Sikh Officers Association advised Gursoch Kaur, about the religious accommodation requirements when she qualified to join. “The Sikh Officers Association guided me and it was very helpful,” she told Desi Talk.

How did her religion push Kaur to join the NYPD? In her first week on the job, how have people on the street treated her? And what, according to Sikh organizations, does she represent for members of the community? Find out at Desi Talk.

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