Police officer Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal Honored in U.S. Congress on anniversary of death

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Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher, D-TX, speaks in Congress with the image of Texas Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy behind her, as the bill H.R. 5317 passed the House of Representatives unanimously on the fifth anniversary of his death Sept. 14, 2020. Photo courtesy Office of Rep. Lizzie Fletcher

A year ago Sept. 27, 2019, Harris County, Texas Police Department lost one of its best and brightest, Indian-American Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, who was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop.

Bipartisan legislation introduced by Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher, D-TX to honor Dhaliwal, H.R. 5317, the Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal Post Office Act, has unanimously passed the House of Representatives Sept. 14, as the first anniversary of his death approaches.

House Resolution 5317 provides that the post office located at 315 Addicks Howell Road will be named the “Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal Post Office.” The bill was co-sponsored by the entire Texas delegation.

“Deputy Dhaliwal established deep, meaningful connections with the community he bravely served,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez is quoted saying in the press release. “On behalf of the men and women who proudly served at his side, I want to thank Congresswoman Fletcher for working to honor Deputy Dhaliwal by putting his name on a building that is so integral in strengthening connections in our society,” Sheriff Gonzalez added.

In 2015, Lt. Dhaliwal became the first Indian-American police officer of the Sikh faith in Texas 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, the press release noted.

On September 27, 2019, Deputy Dhaliwal was killed in the line of duty. In October of 2019, Congresswoman Fletcher led the entire Houston delegation in introducing H. Res. 616, a resolution to honor the life and mourn the loss of Deputy Dhaliwal and spoke on the House floor

“Deputy Dhaliwal represented the very best of our community: he worked for equality, connection, and community through his life of service to others,” Congresswoman Fletcher is quoted saying in the press release.

“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,” Rep.Fletcher added.

“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.

“My son was beloved by all in his community, and performed his job and participated in seva (selfless service) with respect, dignity, and care,” said Pyara Singh Dhaliwal, Deputy Dhaliwal’s father.

“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,” Pyara Singh Dhaliwal said.

“The recognition of Deputy Dhaliwal’s legacy by naming a federal building in his honor is a historic and deeply meaningful acknowledgement for the Dhaliwal family and Sikh community,” said Sim J. Singh, Sikh Coalition senior manager of Policy and Advocacy. “We are grateful to work alongside Texas lawmakers in this year-long effort, and trust that this recognition will further help Americans appreciate that diversity and inclusion remain our nation’s greatest strength.”

“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.”

“I am proud of Rep. Fletcher to promptly work to honor Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal so that his contributions to Harris County will never be in question. Soon, when this post office is officially renamed in his honor, generations upon generations will see it and know how special of a human being he was as well as the positive impact had on all that he met. Sandeep was no ordinary law enforcement officer, and I thank Representative Fletcher for her leadership in ensuring the Dhaliwal name and the distinction of being the first Sikh to serve in the uniform of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office will live on in perpetuity,” said Commissioner Adrian Garcia.

 

 

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