Washington: In late September, a Sikh non-governmental organisation, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, trained over 150 law enforcement officers in Pittsburgh and West Virginia on Sikh religious and cultural practices. Pittsburgh Police Detective Julia Stoops too was present. Representatives from the FBI, Pennsylvania State Police, West Virginia State Police, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), City of Pittsburgh Police Department, and many others learned about the significance of the turban, the five articles of faith, and recommendations on how to properly interact with the Sikh American community.
SALDEF National Director Rajbir Singh Datta said the venture was meant to sustain and develop relationships before an incident occurs. All 250 agents of the FBI – Washington Field Office underwent Sikh American cultural awareness training and viewed On Common Ground, the first and only Sikh American cultural training film for law enforcement.