Lincoln Police Department Working on Making Changes to the Dress Code
Changes Will Include Hijabs and Facial Hair for Muslim Officers
Lincoln, Neb. (KLKN)-The Lincoln Police Department is working on ways to remove barriers that potentially in the past, could have been preventing otherwise qualified people from working as officers. LPD is one of around 114 law enforcement agencies across the nation that signed the 30X30 Pledge, and are looking at ways to improve diversity in their departments. LPD is in the process of revising its dress code policy to include hijabs and facial hair for its officers practicing the Muslim faith.
“Whether in the police department or any other industries, we should allow people to wear and to practice their faith,” said Dr. Ibrahim Alkulli Imam at the Islamic Foundation of Lincoln.
“It would just be hypocrisy for us to go to some of our community members that are of different cultures and religions and tell them that we want them here, that we want them representing the department so others can see them but then when they come here we say, thank you we did want you but now I need you to look different,” said Acting Assistant Chief Michon Morrow LPD.
By signing the 30X30 Pledge, LPD is dedicated to diversifying its staff, to better reflect the community they serve.
“I think these kinds of decisions will make it easier for the people and allow them to join the police,” said Imam Alkulli.
Being able to see yourself reflected in our first responders can help minorities feel more comfortable in stressful situations.
“Yes, if I see a hijabi police officer that would make me feel more comfortable, but I feel comfortable whether it’s hijabi or not,” said Imam Alkulli.
Although the department hopes to hire more women and minorities, they will always focus on who is the best candidate for the job.
“Our number one policy is always going to be to get the most qualified people that are going to do the best job that we possibly can,” said Officer Nate Grim is a recruiter at LPD.
The Lincoln Police Department is proud to be one of the first 114 agencies in the country to make changes like this.
“Our goal is to always improve and be a premier law enforcement organization that others in the country look to for the “how-to book,” on how they can improve,” said Acting Assistant Chief Morrow.
Lincoln Police Department, Bellevue Police Department, Kearney Police Department, and the Sarpy County Sheriffs Office are the only four agencies that signed the 30X30 Pledge in Nebraska. The Omaha Police Department has not made these changes yet, and officers would need a doctor’s note to grow out their facial hair. Cheif Lang at the Beatrice Police Department said quote, “We currently have not made those changes, however, we would consider it if in fact, we had a candidate so request it.”
Lincoln Police Department will have two more test and interview days for new hires this year, and they are scheduled for November 8th and 9th and December 12th and 13th.