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  • Frog Man

    January 26, 2006 at 10:17 am

    Couldn’t post the screengrab but it read
    “Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan has not ruled out allowing Rastafarian police officers to wear dreadlocks for cultural reasons after he unveiled the first round of changes to official police dress yesterday to make them culturally appropriate for Muslims and Sikhs.

    The modified uniforms include a turban for Sikh male officers who will also be allowed to be bearded while female Muslim officers will be allowed to wear the hijab headscarf and a longer, loose-fitting long-sleeved top.

    Mr O’Callaghan said he wants to diversify the WA police force this year by recruiting more people from different religious and cultural backgrounds. He said he would consider every other cultural application to vary the standard regulations governing the dress and appearance of uniformed officers on its merits, but had not yet decided how the process would work.

    Asked if this meant Rastafarian officers could wear dreadlocks, Mr O’Callaghan said it was possible, if it was judged culturally appropriate.

    It did not necessarily mean that someone who was not from a background where beards were traditional could get permission to grow a beard because they wanted one.

    He believed the WA community would accept the changes.

    “It won’t make the officers stand out more, I believe the people of WA are cosmopolitan enough to handle it,” he said. Opposition police spokesman Rob Johnson said the move could backfire if the community had doubts about the suitability of some people to be police officers.

    He said it would be more appropriate to follow the lead of other States and consider the need for a culturally sensitive uniform on a case by case basis. WA Liberal MP Wilson Tuckey dismissed the new uniforms as a media stunt.”