Livingston Police Participate in Training Session on Sikh Culture

January 19, 2006

Source: Merced Sun-Star

On January 19, 2006 the Merced Sun-Star reported, "People think cops live on doughnuts, but Livingston police busted that stereotype Tuesday afternoon when they chowed down on samosas, pakoras and other Indian food at the Sikh temple on B Street. The occasion was a four-hour training session on Punjabi culture -- a first for Merced County law enforcement. Gurujodha Singh Khalsa, a Bakersfield attorney and converted Sikh, gave officers an A to Z lesson covering everything from the different turbans Sikh men wear to the role of law enforcement in India... About 13 percent of Livingston's residents trace their roots to India's Punjab state. Most Punjabis are followers of the Sikh religion. Chief Bill Eldridge arranged the workshop in response to complaints from Sikhs who say police don't treat them with respect. Officers learned the basics of Sikh beliefs and etiquette like how to ask Sikh men to remove their turbans and kirpans, the small knives that some Sikhs carry. ..Eldridge said he's hopeful that the entire Sikh community will hear that the police are making an effort to learn more about their culture. The department will continue its diversity training next month with a session on Hispanic culture."