The New York Police Department has relaxed its policies to allow Sikh and Muslim officers to grow beards of 1.27cm long for religious reasons, in a move aimed recruiting more minorities.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill announced the new rule following a graduation ceremony for new police recruits.
Under the revised rules, Sikh officers will also be allowed to wear turbans in place of the traditional police cap, O’Neill said.
Officers would need approval to wear the turban that would have to be navy blue and have the NYPD insignia attached.
“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 we give them that opportunity,” O’Neill said. Of the 557 recruits who graduated, 33 are Muslims and two are Sikhs, the Times reported.