An Indian-American Sikh police officer named Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal was honoured posthumously by the United States Postal Services (USPS) by naming a post office after him in Houston. He was on traffic duty in Texas when he was shot dead in 2019. His death shocked the entire world and resulted in worldwide condemnation.
The commemoration ceremony was held on Tuesday where a congresswoman named Lizzie Fletcher from Texas' 7th District dedicated the post office situated at 315 Addicks Howell Road in the city to remember Deputy Dhaliwal, who is survived by his wife and three children.
First-Ever Sikh American Deputy
Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal paved the way for the Sikh community in 2015 as he was the first Indian-American to become a Deputy in the Texan city. Not only that, he was also allowed to perform his duty in a turban and practice his faith diligently. In 2009, he first joined the agency as a detention officer. As he went on to become a Patrol Deputy in Harris County, he inspired several people from the community to join the law enforcement agency.
A Rare Honour
Very few post offices around the United States have the honour to be named after a martyred Sheriff. As reported by CW39 Houston, only 900 out of 34,000 post offices are named after an individual after an act passed in the Congress. Therefore, Fletcher wanted to make sure that his legacy is not forgotten. A legislation called 'the Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal Post Office Act' became a law in 2020, that preceded the dedication. "I just kept asking the committee to get it to the floor and to make sure that we got a hearing. To make sure that this bill of such significance in our community would pass the house," she said.
Nikki Johnson, who is a part of USPS' Strategic Communication, acknowledged this commemoration. She said, "The postal service is the thread of the community We are the fabric. We bring everyone together. And it is just an honour for the postal service to do this for our community. And to just honour his name and legacy. "
Deputy Dhaliwal's family was present at the ceremony. His family friend, Bobby Singh, told the news publication, "It's important to the Sikh community because the articles of faith represent service and sacrifice. So anybody who can serve the community where one doesn't have to pick between service and faith how beautiful this is...with the accommodation policy of the Sheriff's office that allowed Sandeep to serve." He also called him a 'trailblazer, a generous spirit and a warmth that brought people together.'