10,000 Washington State Peace Officers Learn About Sikh Americans

Law enforcement officers in Washington state now have access to SALDEF’s Sikh American cultural awareness training materials. Working in partnership with the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC), SALDEF materials, including our On Common Ground DVD, a first- of-its- kind training video on Sikh American cultural awareness for law enforcement, will be accessible to about 265 law enforcement agencies and 10,000 peace officers in the state.


This follows SALDEF’s landmark training partnerships with the Las Vegas Police Department in 2012 and the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training in 2011.

On Common Ground, produced in collaboration with the Department of Justice, provides law enforcement with an overview of Sikh American cultural practices, describes Sikh articles of faith, explores common misconceptions, and presents strategies and best practices to use in non-emergency situations when interacting with community members.

The Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission is dedicated to providing not only skills training, but also a strong foundation of understanding for officers to work more effectively with the people we serve,” said Sue Rahr, Executive Director of the CJTC. “Providing education about the many cultures in our communities equips officers to be more effective in their interactions and build strong partnerships. It also raises officers’ awareness of the significant challenges and dangers members of those minority communities face due to the ignorance and bias. We are very appreciative of our partnership with SALDEF in sharing ‘On Common Ground’, an excellent training video for law enforcement about Sikh American culture.

The CJTC enhances public safety by establishing standards and providing education and training, with a mission to lead the nation in developing a 21st century criminal justice workforce. As the main criminal justice training entity in the state, the CJTC administers and manages some two hundred statewide programs and develops and supports all criminal justice training for the state of Washington.



“We are excited and thankful for this new partnership with CJTC as they continue to provide diverse resources and best practices for Washington’s law enforcement community, said SALDEF Executive Director Jasjit Singh. Cultural awareness training breaks down barriers of communication, leads to better policing, and creates a stronger relationship between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. This is particularly important in Washington as it has a long history of Sikh Americans as residents. It is our hope that this collaboration serves as a model showing the need for, and benefit of, collaboration between law enforcement and the Sikh American community.

To read more SALDEF’s Law Enforcement Partnership Program, please click here.

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