Acting Commissioner of Police, Juki Fong Chew has approved the wearing of a turban with the official Fiji Police crown.
This is done in recognition of the respect for diversity and inclusivity that are integral to the success of policing efforts.
The first Constable to don the reintroduced Police uniform will be Police Constable Navjeath Singh Sohata.
PC Sohata is a member of Batch 66 undergoing the Basic Recruits Course Training in Nasova, after being selected from the open market recruitment drive.
A devout Sikh, PC Sohata had marched into the Academy knowing the training requirements would require personal sacrifices on his part.
However, the Acting Commissioner of Police in respecting, PC’s Sohata’s rights, approved the wearing of the turban with the official Fiji Police crown.
The decision made after consultation with other senior members of the organisation, recognizes and values the importance of religious diversity.
Chew said this was a testament of the organisation’s commitment in upholding the fundamental principles of equality and diversity.
According to early history of the Fiji Police Force written in the book Fiji to the Balkans (History of the Fiji Police Force by Stanley Brown, the first Sikh constables were recruited in the early 1910s.
Police Constable Sohata who hails from Dreketi marched in as a member of Batch 66 on the 27th of August to what he described as the start of his journey to fulfilling a childhood dream.
The 20-year-old and former Dreketi Central College student says life as a recruit was difficult at first being away from his family, particularly his twin brother and younger sister, but after two weeks, he settled in and has been focused on learning as much as possible for the life of service that awaits him upon the completion of the four month training.
“I have a number of people in my life who I look up to as inspiration and role models, and it is my goal to make them proud and be just as good as them when it comes to my professional life.”
He has also acknowledged the support of the senior hierarchy in embracing and respecting religious diversity within the organisation.