Puneet Pal Singh Gill, Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, August 5. A turbaned Sikh man from Ludhiana, Manpinder Singh Gill, will be fighting crime on the streets of Australia. Thirty-four-year-old Manpinder has been appointed Protective Services Officer in the Protective Services Unit (PSU) of the Melbourne Police. Another city resident Amitoj Singh is already serving the Australian police.
Gill, whose family lives in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar area here, is the fifth turbaned youth and second from Ludhiana to be inducted into the Australian police.
The PSU is Victoria Police’s specialist provider of security services. It was established in 1986 following a security review, but formally commenced operations on May 1, 1988.
Manpinder went to the local GGN Public School and SCD Government College. He later graduated from Gujranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology. He, along with his wife Pawan, migrated to Australia in 2007. He had been doing a business before he applied for PSO.
“My maternal grandfather was in the Army. I also aspired to be an army officer, but could not succeed. And when I saw this advertisement, I thought this was my chance to fulfill my childhood dream. As a PSO I will be able to serve the community,” Manpinder said while speaking to The Tribune over the phone from Melbourne. “After clearing the written test, I joined the Victoria Police Academy, Glen Waverley, Victoria on April 16. After three months of rigorous training, I graduated on July 16,” Manpinder said.
His father Sant Parkash Singh Gill, a former Superintending Engineer of the Punjab Irrigation Department, flew to Australia to attend his son’s graduation ceremony. Manpinder said: “Australians do not discriminate. Here you are treated on a par with other citizens. It does not make any difference to people here that I wear a turban as they know that I am there for their safety”.
The PSO’s are responsible for the security of Melbourne’s Supreme Court, County Court, Children’s Court, Magistrates’ Court, Suburban Magistrates Courts, Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Victorian Department of Justice, Parliament House Victoria, The Shrine of Remembrance, Victoria Police Centre and Victoria Police St Kilda Road Complex.