HCSO's history-making Sikh deputy, Sandeep Dhaliwal, killed in line of duty

'Truly, he died a hero. He died serving the Harris County community.': Sheriff

By Tulsi Kamath - Digital Content Producer

HOUSTON - Harris County Sheriffs Deputy 41-year-old Sandeep Dhaliwal was killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop in northwest Harris County Friday afternoon. 

Dhaliwal was shot by a suspect at the 14000 block of Willancy Court at about 1 p.m. Friday. He was taken by LifeFlight to Memorial Hermann hospital in serious condition, where he later died. 

 

 

A 10-year veteran, Dhaliwal joined the Harris County Sheriffs Office in 2008 as a detention officer and became a deputy four years later.

In 2015, Dhaliwal made history when the HCSO allowed him to keep his beard and wear a dastaar (turban) while on patrol — a requirement of his Sikh religion. He became the first HCSO deputy to be allowed to wear a turban and articles of the Sikh faith, while on duty. 

With the help of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Dhaliwal helped change the department's policy and make it more inclusive. 

Dhaliwal is survived by a wife and three children. 

"(We) ask our Harris County community to please keep this hero in your thoughts and prayers. Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers," said Sheriff Ed Gonzalez during a press conference Friday.

Gonzalez remembered Dhaliwal as a "respected member of the community" and a "trailblazer." 

"Deputy Dhaliwal is known to everybody as someone with a giving heart," Gonzalez said. "Post Harvey, when we needed the most help, he brought an 18-wheeler of people that he gathered together, that came all the way from California to deliver goods to our community." 

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