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Modesto Police Department hires First Sikh Officer in California

Logo of Modesto Police Department

California, June 17 (UITV)- A 28-year-old Sikh man has been sworn in as the first officer from the community who can wear his turban and beard on work despite grooming policy that requires officers to be clean shaven in the Modesto Police Department, California.

Varinder Khun Khun, an Indian by descent, has lived in Ceres for the first 10 years. His happiness knows no bounds as he repeatedly expresses he had never thought he would be allowed to practice his religion through the mandatory turban and beard besides being an officer.

Khun Khun graduated from the Napa Police Academy on June 11 along with two other officers. His name is placed as an officer among the other 33 hired this year by the department.

The Modesto Police Department’s grooming policy requires officers be clean shaven, allowing only for a mustache that extends to the edge of the lip.

The police chief Galen Carroll said he hopes Khub Khun to be the trailblazer that may bring more Sikh officers and other people who are interested that think they can’t be officers.

Khun Khun approached Police Chief Galen Carroll a year ago about applying for a job and requirement that he have a beard and wear a turban, it said.

“I told him that that didn’t matter, that we would make accommodation for his religious beliefs and that, more importantly we were looking for people with high character standards and he would be an addition to the Police Department as a segment of the community that is not represented in the Police Department,” Carroll said.