NYPD Will Now Let Officers Wear Turbans

The department's commissioner said, "We want to make the NYPD as diverse as possible."

NYPD Will Now Let Officers Wear Turbans
Twitter / @SikhOfficers

The New York City Police Department is now letting some officers wear turbans and grow out their beards a little more for religious reasons.

Each is an important aspect of some religions, and a handful of police departments across the country have already made similar changes.

For example, Sikh officers in the NYPD had to wear a smaller-sized wrap under the standard police caps. Now, they can forgo the caps and have police brass fastened to a navy blue turban.

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"We're making this change to make sure that we allow everybody in New York City that wants to apply and have the opportunity to work in the greatest police department in the nation, to make sure that we're giving them that opportunity," NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said. 

Specifically, the new policy lets officers grow beards up to half an inch, with approval. But some in the Sikh community argue that change doesn't go far enough.

The NYPD says longer facial hair doesn't work with certain gas masks.

The department currently employs around 150 Sikh officers and 1,000 Muslims.