It seems that there has been another huge shake up in the police force rules just recently, as the New York Police Department (NYPD) have recently announced their former ruling against beards looks set to be reversed, as beards and turbans will now be permitted, but under strict religious grounds, that is.
Although the move is a huge step in the right direction, it still has it's flaws. As the amount of facial hair an officer can have is limited to a certain length, and must be based on religious grounds only. NYPD commissioner, James O'Neill announced the news on Wednesday at a scheduled graduation ceremony for new officer recruits, as he stated - ''We are 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.''
The final preparations are now underway to launch the new rules into play for as soon as next month, although each beard must be certified on a religious accommodation from the department's Equal Employment Opportunity Office (EEO), and must measure no longer than one-half inches from the face to the tip on the beard. Those who do qualify will also be granted the right to wear a turban in place of the usual traditional NYPD cap, although the turban would have to be of a navy blue colour and still have attached the NYPD insignia patch to be rightfully noticed as an official part on the officer's strict uniform.
The new ruling has been an ongoing battle for a team of around 150 members, known as the The Sikh Officers Association alongside the Sikh Coalition, as they gracefully welcomed the move, naming it a ''proud moment for the Sikh community''. Posting upon their Verified Twitter page, The Sikh Coalition added - ''We have been working for over a decade to change the discriminatory policy of our nation;s largest municipal police force. In recent years, that work has continued with community partners, like NYPD Sikh Officer Association. We look forward to reviewing the written policy, which has not yet been shared, before determining whether this is a complete fix, yet we're optimistic about what this announcement represents in the way of progress and the message it sends across the nation.''
So, although there are strict rulings in place, it seems this could be another huge jump in the right direction for beard acceptance in the workplace. But what do you guys think? Do you feel beards should not be refused from certain working positions? Or do you think this is only a small step in an ever-growing prejudice against our furry faces? As always let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.