- Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, the first Sikh Deputy in Harris County, was gunned down during a routine traffic stop on Sept. 27, 2019.
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a legislation, H-Res. 5317, to rename a post office in Houston, Texas, after Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, the first Sikh Deputy in Harris County, who was gunned down during a routine traffic stop on Sept. 27, 2019.
Decks were cleared for renaming the post office located at 315 Addicks Howell Road in Houston as “Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal Post Office Building” with the U.S. Congress passing the necessary legislation on Sept. 14, where it was originally introduced by Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas). The bill is now headed to the White House for outgoing President Donald Trump to sign into law.
The post office named after Dhaliwal in Houston is only the second one named after an Indian American. The first one was named after the first Indian American Congressman Dalip Singh Saund in Southern California in 2006.
On Sept. 27, 2019, Dhaliwal, 42, was shot dead by a suspect during a traffic stop in the
county’s Cypress area. He was the county’s first Sikh Deputy when he joined the force in 2009, 10 years ago, and became a national figure after convincing the Harris County Sheriff’s Department and securing a historic, first-of-its-kind accommodation to allow him to wear his Sikh articles of faith — a turban and grow a beard — while serving in uniform.
Responding to the development, the slain police officer’s father Pyara Singh Dhaliwal told American Bazaar, that the “gesture will memorialize his legacy of service to his beloved Houston, while also reminding us all to uphold his example and celebrate the diversity that makes our and so many other communities strong,” adding, “our family remains grateful for the outpouring of love and support in this effort to commemorate my son.”
The Sikh Coalition that originally worked with Rep. Fletcher on the resolution and encouraged its passage in the Senate, applauded the bipartisan decision to honor Deputy Dhaliwal.
Sikh Coalition Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager, Sim J. Singh told American Kahani, “We are very glad to see the Senate pass this important resolution and send it to the president’s desk. Signing this resolution into law and commemorating Deputy Dhaliwal in his city is an important way to affirm both his legacy and the fact that conscious efforts towards diversity and inclusion serve our communities well.”
In a statement, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) who had worked with the Sikh Coalition to ensure the resolution passed said: “The US Postal Office on Addicks Howell Road in Houston will now serve as a lasting tribute to Deputy Dhaliwal’s trailblazing legacy for Sikh Americans and religious minorities in law enforcement.” Senator Cruz added, “I look forward to seeing President Trump swiftly sign these measures into law.”
“It’s important for us to recognize these heroes who have done so much for our community, and honoring them with a local post office is a great way to highlight their public service for future generations to come,” Sen. Cornyn (R-Texas) said. Sen. Cornyn had also worked with the Sikh Coalition on the resolution.
Born in India, Dhaliwal moved to the U.S. along with his parents to Houston where he grew deep roots. Dhaliwal had been recognized for breaking barriers for Sikhs and other religious minorities.
Anu Ghosh immigrated to the U.S. from India in 1999. Back in India she was a journalist for the Times of India in Pune for 8 years and a graduate from the Symbiosis Institute of Journalism and Communication. In the U.S., she obtained her Masters and PhD. in Communications from The Ohio State University. Go Buckeyes! She has been involved in education for the last 15 years, as a professor at Oglethorpe University and then Georgia State University. She currently teaches Special Education at Oak Grove Elementary. She is also a mom to two precocious girls ages 11 and 6.