HOUSTON - Harris County’s first-ever Sikh deputy constable was sworn in Tuesday, coinciding with the commencement of a new policy allowing articles of faith to be worn in the line of duty.
Deputy Constable Amrit Singh is now making history for Harris County as the first in his profession to wear a turban, beard, and uncut hair in the line of duty. His swearing-in and pinning ceremony was led by Constable Alan Rosen—his new boss.
"Growing up I always knew that I wanted to be a deputy,” said Singh.
The 21-year-old said he’s wanted to serve and protect since his childhood, but his Sikh faith was also important to him.
"I didn't want to give up my religion to serve, and I knew that if I was that passionate about it, there would be some leader out there that would feel the same way,” said Singh. “They wouldn't want me to sacrifice a part of me to do the other part of me."
That leader ended up being Constable Rosen.
"May the fiber interwoven in this turban symbolize the unity displayed here today,” said Rose at the swearing-in ceremony. "I am proud to say that my fellow constables standing here with me today are unified in coming together to unveil a formal policy that specifically allows articles of faith to be worn while in uniform."
Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal paved the way as the first law enforcement officer to wear a turban in the county before he was murdered in September.
"I could just hope that I could be half as decent a cop as he ever was, and everything I do, I want people to know that I'm doing it following in his footsteps,” said Singh.
"He made our community proud," said Suhel Singh, Deputy Singh’s father.
Singh’s parents were recognized at the ceremony. They told FOX 26 they are proud to see their son pursue his passion even though it is a dangerous job.
"The way I look at it, maybe it will make me pray harder and be more praying for his protection from God," said Sukie Kaur, Deputy Singh’s mother.
Deputy Singh is now one of just two law enforcement officers in the county wearing a turban.