In an attempt to rid the fear of the khaki uniform from the minds of citizens, Pune Police Commissioner Satish Mathur has asked the force to send teams to five houses in their jurisdictions every day, and interact with people.
Mathur says the meetings will help them understand areas and get some useful information that they are not aware of. File Pic
Mathur, who believes in the Pune police’s motto of safety, security and satisfaction, says citizens must approach the police fearlessly and if they are not doing so, then it is the duty of the police to reach out to them.
Mathur was struck with the idea after his staff repeatedly said citizens don’t cooperate with the police and don’t want to approach them.
He said, “I am trying to overcome the distance between citizens and police so we can walk together for safety and security. Citizens are the real source of information; usually the police meets such people during an event or when an incident takes place. But, they take more time to open up, thinking they mustn’t be involved in the situation.
So, I have directed police station in-charges to form a team of three people and visit some five houses every day to meet local residents.”
He added, “This will help us understand areas and get some useful information which we are not aware of. The police will be in uniform and show their identity cards. The policemen will interact with them in the passage outside the houses, or if the citizens wish they can invite them in and serve them a cup of tea or glass of water. Apart from this, our senior officers and three other policemen will visit parks, morning walk areas and jogging tracks every day. They will interact with citizens, understand their problems, the shortcuts in the locality and other geographical information.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IV) Manoj Patil added, “This concept is helping us as the citizens are sharing information and discussing their issues. This is a good exercise, as we are getting information about the geography, the issues and population of various areas. Many citizens are working as volunteers and helping us. If we receive a call about some incidents, we take the help of such local residents. There are groups formed on WhatsApp, and volunteers have been patrolling with the police at nights, for the past two months .”
This is a good concept, as many times citizens are afraid to approach policemen. It’s an old saying that friendship and enmity with policemen is the worst. But I have seen that when I contact cops, they immediately help us. This rapport will enable us to form a citizen partnership with police.
— Daljeet Raizada, resident of Kalyani Nagar
I and my friends were always scared of police. I got to know some policemen at functions they had organised. I and my friends then decided to help them as volunteers. About once a week, we help patrol with them.
— Himanshu Rokade, college student and a volunteer, Cantonment