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Local Control Over Police Bureaucracy




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Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
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Hi Sanjeev,

Yes it is true that the internal security is controlled via the Home
Ministry. But, that is at the very high level. In fact the police
Departments are not directly controlled by the Home Ministry, because
Police Departments are State Government Institutions, and are governed
by the State Government through a long chain of bureaucracy starting
from the Director General Of Police, reporting to the State Home
Ministry, which in turn is answerable to the Federal Home Ministry.

I think DG Police has various Police Commissioners, under whom there are

Superintendents of Police, and there are still two layers of bureaucracy

down the line before a City Police Sheriff or Police Inspector as they
call it, comes into picture, who in turn, works in the local law
enforcement with the help of police constables. I think one basic reason

why the most important police officials, the constables get so little
importance, and therefore salary, training etc. because, even though
they are the ones who put their lives on the line of duty, nonetheless,
they come a distant 10th the long hierarchy.

Educated, bright individuals do not want to join police force as
Constables. It is not just because there is not good training and salary

in it, but because of the fact that this position is not considered
important enough due to long chain of command, where the higher up you
start, the more power you are going to have, is the universal thinking.

My idea of local control over police originated out of the refreshing
experience of knowledge of City control over police departments in the
USA. You can take any example of New York Police, Chicago Police, or the

police department of a very small town just 30 miles out of a large
metropolis, which is controlled and managed by the City Administration
(the city being the city administration of that little town). The number

of Cars a City Police Department can buy depends upon the amount of
money the City administration can provide (Plus of course, the funds
that the Central Govt. can approve), which is directly related to the
budgetary allocation as well as support by the local aldermen who find
it necessary in the interest of public safety. Same is true about the
number of Police Officers, all of whom must graduate from the State
Police Academies.

(Most of the police officers you come across, are happy doing the duty
of police officers, because they are not insignificant 10th in any
hierarchy, but they are the reasons the police departments exists. They
work in these positions almost all of their careers, some of whom grow
up to be sheriff's or move on and do something else in life. You don't
see them forming unions or demanding promotion etc.)

For the highest posts in the Police Departments of large cities like
Chicago, Los Angeles, New York etc. is that of a City Police Chief. The
eligibility for this post, I think, is, first and foremost, a long
experience of working within a police department as Sheriff. The city
Aldermen, the people's representatives then vote to choose among the
eligible candidates who file in their candidature for the post and the
decision is made on the basis of their past record, their stand on
various law enforcement issues etc.

A police official you talk to, in this country, the USA, will also give
you a totally different perspective as to why they exist,simply by the
respectful and disciplined language they use while talking to any Tom
and Jerry. The Gun they carry and the communication equipment they carry

along gives out the impression that should their own safety be in
danger, they have massive lethal power to respond with, but they don't
have to become uncivilized in dealing with citizens, for whose
protection they are hired in the first place.

I know a lot of what is said here may not be applicable in India, and
that is precisely why I put in just an idea to discuss and then develop
a language which all of us believe suites our own requirement.

As you suggested, I will try to write a language, which, in my opinion,
would reflect the ideal way to implement something like this in India.
Any suggestions, objections, meanwhile are welcome.

Umesh



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