Indiana Sikh Outreach Mission honors fallen officer with service award

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The Indiana Sikh Outreach Mission met at the Allen County Public library on Saturday to pay tribute to deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal.

Saturday afternoon, a remembrance memorial was held at the Allen County Downtown Library for a Texas Sikh officer killed in the line of duty in 2019. Dhaliwal was well-known among the Sikh community for winning a legal battle to allow officers to wear turbans and other articles of faith while on the job.

Many seats in the ACPL meeting hall were filled to honor the officer, who one man described as a “brave man, a hero and a trailblazer.”

“You can hear from the people there’s a lot of proof that he was really good person,” said Singh. “He was good officer, he was dedicated officer so that’s why we want to encourage our law enforcement locally because they should be dedicated to their service.”

One of the guests of honor was Fort Wayne Police Captain Kevin Hunter, who was given a service dedication award named after Dpt. Sandeep S. Dhaliwal. Hunter is in the running for Allen County’s next sheriff as a Democrat. Also running for the office are Allen County Chief Deputy Troy Herschberger and Fort Wayne Police Deputy Chief Mitch McKinney on the Republican ticket.

Jesse Singh, the coordinator for the Indiana Sikh Outreach Mission, said Deputy Dhaliwal served in a Texas sheriff’s department as a deputy from 2009 to 2019 before he was shot and killed on duty by a criminal during a traffic stop.

The other guests of honor included the deputy’s father, Pyara Singh Dhaliwal, his sister Harpreet Kaur, Fort Wayne City Councilman Geoff Paddock, Deputy Mayor Karl Bandemer and Wayne Township Trustee Austin Knox.

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