HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Harris County Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, who died in the line of duty after being shot during a traffic stop, was more than just a deputy.
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez called him a trailblazer and a leader, who represented the true diversity of our community.
Dhaliwal joined the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in 2009 as a detention officer.
He grabbed the nation’s attention six years after being sworn into the department. Former Sheriff Adrian Garcia, for the first time in Texas history, allowed him to wear a turban and beard when in uniform, which represented Dhaliwal's commitment to the Sikh religion.
"I was sitting in the congregation like I was sitting today, hearing Sheriff Garcia. He was here to give community hope to look forward to bring the trust back," Dhaliwal said in a 2015 interview with FOX 26.
Since then, Dhaliwal helped educate and raise awareness about the Sikh religion that is often misunderstood.
Deputy Dhaliwal also made appearances on the Isiah Factor Uncensored to talk about diversity.
"I'm proud to be a Harris County Deputy," he said.
Dhaliwal was also praised for spending his own vacation time to help with Hurricane Harvey efforts, bringing in an 18-wheeler filled with supplies from California for victims. He also helped victims of Hurricane Maria in Florida and Puerto Rico.
Both former sheriff Garcia and current sheriff Gonzalez called him a close personal friend.
Dhaliwal is survived by wife and three children.