A DIG Who didn't rest on his laurels
By Jayaraj Sivan
In a country where awards given to institutions are appropriated by individuals to adorn their showcases, here is a DIG who has utilised a prestigious award he won in 2002 to set up a state-of-the-art facility for better police-public interface in the state.
Prateep V. Philip, the winner of the 2002 Queen's Award for innovation in Police Training and Development, sitting in the Multimedia Training Centre for Friends of Police set up with his Rs 11.23 lakh award amount, says wiht a sense of satisfaction:
"This centre has successfully has successfully trained at least 7,000 police officials, constables and an equal number of friends of police volunteers in the 30 police districts and the six police commissionerates in the last one year. Women constituted some 10 percent of the trainees".
Philip received the project completion certificate from Stuart Innes, British Deputy High Commissioner, at a function held in the city on Wednesday. While the centre has been able to cover only a section of inspectors, sub-inspectors and head constables, it has successfully trained all the sub-divisional heads and Deputy Superintendents of Police in the state.
The sucess of the scheme can be gauged from the fact that the State Government has now come forward to provide budgetary assistance for the centre to keep it functional even after the award amount is exhausted. Sanctioning an annual grant of Rs 50,000 per police district, the government has also instructed all the SPs and the City Police Commissioners to organise regular training programmes for police officials, constables and members of the public in their respective areas.
Detaling the training programme, Phlip says, "Our training is attitude, skill-and knowledge-based. It empowers both the public at large and specific sub-groups and makes police personnel feel that they are part of the communityies they serve and live in. Good policing is achieved by a critical examination of existing practices, good or bad, and also by experimenting new approaches. Reform efforts are as much a product of systematic enquiry into policing as they are of the visionary thinking of police leaders".
About the outcome of the training programme, he said an overall 58 percent rated it as excellent. "While other rated it as good and very good, only 0.01 percent found it not up to their expectation".
The centre, started on July 19,2003, on Nelson Manickam Road, has a documentation centre. " Anybody interested in doing research on police can make use of our centre. We also provide them free Internet access, " Philip said. Public can get more details about the center's activity from www.friendsofpolice.org .
Philip is also the author of the Friends of Police concept. He started it in Ramanathapuram in 1993 when he was the SP there. Chief Minister J.Jyalalithaa extended it to the whole state in 1994. As of now, there are more than one lakh FOP Volunteers in the state.