Baltej Singh Dhillon

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  • Baltej Singh Dhillon was the first Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer to be allowed to wear a turban.
  • After joining the Mounties in 1990, Dhillon sparked a heated national debate simply because he wanted to maintain his turban — a symbol of his faith — as part of the historic RCMP uniform.
  • He won the right to do so, leading the way for many other young Sikh officers to follow suit.
  • Born in Malaysia, Dhillon speaks five languages and immigrated to Surrey as a teen.
  • He is now a sergeant and polygraph examiner for B.C.’s major crime unit.
  • He has worked on high-profile cases like the Air India bombing and serial killer Robert Pickton.
  • Dhillon was born and raised in Malaysia and immigrated to British Columbia in 1983 at the age of 16.
  • After he graduated from high school, he studied criminology. Although initially wanting to be a lawyer, he decided to seek admission to the RCMP after spending time at a Mountie detachment in Surrey, BC, where he volunteered as a translator for Asian immigrants.
  • Dhillon applied to the RCMP in 1988. Although he met the entrance requirements, he refused to abide by the RCMP dress code of the time, which banned turbans and required clean-shaven faces.
  • As a Sikh, Dhillon’s religious obligations required him to have a beard and wear a turban.
  • Instead of giving up his dreams of becoming a Mountie, or compromising his religious beliefs, Dhillon sought changes to the RCMP uniform policy.
  • Baltej Singh Dhillon was one of the first to fight for the right to practice his faith while serving Canada.

Profession/Designation Police force
Location Canada