HOUSTON – The Harris County Sheriff's Office on Friday became the largest law enforcement agency in the United States to allow a Sikh deputy to serve with Sikhism's articles of faith, including a turban and beard.

Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, a Sikh American who joined the department six years ago, is the HCSO's first Sikh deputy. Dhaliwal said the promotion will help open the conversation for all Sikh Americans.

The HCSO joins the US military and other law enforcement agencies across the country with observant Sikh Americans among their ranks

The HCSO says it is committed to accommodating an employee in regard to a dress code issue where the employee proves a unique need due to a medical condition, or a firmly established religious belief.