COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As the city diversifies, local government agencies are evolving as well.
The Columbus Police department said it’s now looking at changing its hijab ban.
A hijab is a head covering Muslim women wear in public.
The ban was originally implemented out of safety concerns for officers who wear them.
Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin thinks this change is a great thing.
“There are folks who’ve argued safety concerns,” he said. “The hijab, as we look around the country, other communities have instituted new policies around the hijab. As we all agree, our police forces should match and reflect the diversity of the city that we live. We think it’s one of those steps towards getting to that goal.”
Hardin said he looks forward to seeing the department grow with Muslim women serving as police officers once the change starts.
“You have to remember Columbus has 40,000 Somalis alone, let alone other Muslim populations that make up our rich diversity, so we have to think outside the box and be innovative as we strive to make sure we reflect the community that they serve,” he said. “We have to continue to evolve. Continue to find ways to make sure that, not just the police force reflects the community, but the community feels safer.”
There isn’t a clear cut timeframe of when this change will take effect.