Public funeral services held for fallen Harris County Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal

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On Wednesday, thousands of people from across the city, state and country paid tribute to Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, who was killed on duty on Friday during a routine traffic stop.

On Wednesday morning, law enforcement officers and citizens lined a funeral procession route to the Berry Center, where two public ceremonies are being held for Deputy Dhaliwal.

The public was welcome to attend the Sikh religious ceremony at 10:30 a.m. and the law enforcement ceremony at 11:30 a.m. at the Berry Center.

Sheriff Gonzalez described Dhaliwal, who was the first Sikh deputy for Harris County, as "well-liked and well-respected."

Dhaliwal was also the Director of Homeland Security for UNITED SIKHS. He led operations for Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Maria and various other projects to assist the less fortunate and those in need.

He was trailblazer for the Harris County Sheriff's Office, and was easily recognizable in his faith's traditional turban and beard.

“Sandeep, although taken too soon in a terrible fashion, Sandeep was here to teach us, he was here to guide us, he was here to help us understand they if we just approach each other on a level of decency, so much good can come from it,” former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said.

Another trailblazer attended Deputy Dhaliwal’s funeral.

Canada’s first turban-wearing law enforcement officer responded to questioning about whether the turban makes officers more of a target In the line of duty.

“This job is for the valiant. This job is for the brave, so if you’re gonna walk in this uniform, you better be ready to take that on, regardless of what you’re wearing on your head. So the turban is just another part of our uniform. Every member in uniform here is a target,” Inspector Baltej Dhillon, a royal Canadian mounted police said. 

“Upon reflecting on his life, three things stand out: his commitment to his faith, his commitment to his family, and his commitment to serve others,” Sen. Ted Cruz said.

“He was a trailblazer. He embraced all the initial scrutiny, questions and sideways glances,” Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.

Deputy Dhaliwal’s body’s as cremated Wednesday afternoon. His Sikh community leaders told FOX 26 reporter Ivory Hecker that in their religion, today is not about sadness, but about celebrating the fact that his soul has taken the next step back to unity with God.