Bill introduced in House to honor ‘American hero’ with a ‘heart of gold’.
Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal was the first Sikh police officer to serve as a Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy in Texas while keeping his articles of faith, a beard and a turban.
He was only 42 when he was shot and killed in September this year in the line of duty as he bravely manned a checkpoint.
Remembered as an ‘American hero’ with a ‘heart of gold’, the slain officer has obtained a huge following for setting an exceptional example for himself and his community during his short lifetime.
Democratic Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher of Texas introduced a bill in the House of Representatives on December 5 to name a post office in Houston after Dhaliwal.
The bill to honor the officer mourned by people across faiths provides that the post office located at 315 Addicks Howell Road be named the “Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal Post Office.”
The support and kindness we have received from the Houston community and people around the country has been both inspiring and comforting in this difficult time,” said Pyara Singh Dhaliwal, the slain officer’s father.
“My family is grateful to Congresswoman Fletcher for her work to recognize my son’s legacy and his love for the people of this city,” he said.
“We urge everyone, Sikh or not, to remember Sandeep by following his example of seva and committing to doing good for those around you wherever you live.”
Introducing the bill Congresswoman Fletcher said, “Deputy Dhaliwal represented the very best of our community: he worked for equality, connection, and community through his life of service to others.”
“The Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal Post Office will serve as a permanent reminder of his service, his sacrifice, and his example for us all,” she added. “I am honored to be able to recognize Deputy Dhaliwal in this way, and look forward to working with all of my Texas colleagues to pass this legislation quickly.”
Earlier in October, 98 former and current Sikh service members and law enforcement officials delivered letters to the US Department of Defense and national police agencies advocating changes to accommodation policies for religious minorities.
In tribute to Deputy Dhaliwal’s service, these Sikh Americans urged their respective institutions to streamline the process for all Americans who are willing and able to serve with their religious articles of faith intact.