iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
The US House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation to honor Indian-American police officer Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal who was killed in the line of duty in 2019. The bipartisan bill, Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal Post Office Act, will name a post office in Houston after the slain Indian-American Sikh cop.
The Senate has to pass the Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal Post Office Act before the US President Donald Trump signs it into law. The slain Harris County Sheriff’s deputy was the first observant Sikh to serve in the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and the entire Houston delegation had decided to co-sponsor the legislation to honor the life and legacy.
Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher told the House on September 14 the Dhaliwal represented “the very best of our community” with his work for equality, connection, and community. Fletcher said that Dhaliwal was widely regarded as a role model for Americans of all faiths and was also one of the first officers in Texas to receive a policy accommodation to wear his Sikh articles of faith while patrolling to bolster cultural diversity.
“The Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal Post Office will serve as a permanent reminder of his service, his sacrifice, and his example for us all. I am grateful that my legislation to honor his memory has passed the House of Representatives today and is one step closer to being signed into law,” she said
Sim J. Singh, Sikh Coalition Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy, said in a statement that the naming a federal building after the deputy is a historic and deeply meaningful acknowledgment for the Dhaliwal family and Sikh community. Dhaliwal’s father said that the building will serve as another permanent reminder of how much he meant to the family and the people of Houston.
“My son was beloved by all in his community, and performed his job and participated in seva (selfless service) with respect, dignity, and care,” Pyara Singh Dhaliwal, Deputy Dhaliwal’s father, said in a statement carried by Sikh Coalition.
“He lived as a symbol of the strength that comes from diversity and unity, and this building will serve as another permanent reminder of how much he meant to our family and the people of Houston. We are so thankful for this effort to honor his legacy and his commitment to our city,” he said.
“I am very grateful to Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher and her commitment to honoring my husband’s memory. He loved being a part of and serving his community. Naming a post office after him will honor his work and dedication, and I am happy that this bill has passed the House today,” said Harwinder Kaur Dhaliwal, Deputy Dhaliwal’s wife.
“I am grateful to Congresswoman Fletcher for her work on behalf of this effort,” said Harris County Commissioner R. Jack Cagle. “It is remarkably appropriate that the post office being renamed for Deputy Dhaliwal is in the very district he patrolled and protected. This renaming not only honors Deputy Dhaliwal and his family but also honors the citizens who use it because it bears the name of such a fine public servant.”
Lt. Dhaliwal became the first Sikh American in Texas, in 2015, to receive a policy accommodation to serve while wearing his articles of faith, including his turban and beard.
He was the first Sikh police officer to serve in the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and was a role model and a trailblazer for Sikh Americans and religious minorities that sought to serve in law enforcement.
Dhaliwal was born in India, and moved to Houston at an early age along with his parents.