About 10,000 policemen are likely to be freed up for providing security or handling investigations as the government has decided to outsource non-policing functions in the state police force such as manning helplines, reception desks at police stations and serving summons.
These non-policing jobs would be outsourced to personnel from other government departments and even private agencies.
“There are a large number of police involved administrative work that can be done by others, such as sitting on reception desks, filling in registers and forms, and attending helplines. The idea is to get them back into mainstream policing and use their capabilities for security, investigations and crime detection,” said chief secretary JK Banthia, who presided over the initial meeting to discuss the model to be adopted for outsourcing.
The meeting was attended by senior home department official and police chiefs.
For this purpose, the Maharashtra government is looking at first getting government agencies like the postal services, the Maharashtra state security corporation (MSSC), and help from the high court since policemen are deployed for issuing summons by the courts. Then, if required, private agencies will be hired.
“When we drew up the numbers, we realised 3,000 policemen were involved only in the process of serving of summons on a daily basis. Almost an equal number are standing outside religious places to guard them. Others are busy taking phone calls on helplines or filling up forms, monitoring control room functions and maintaining registers,” Banthia said.
“The postal department can lend us people, if the court agrees, for issuing summons; the MSSC special force, which includes ex-servicemen, can easily substitute our police in several places. Social workers can be recruited to be on front desks or attend phone calls since they are trained to help people,” he said.
The law department has already been asked to talk to the judges and get them on board on the outsourcing issue. Although in the initial stage, the government plans to back up these outsourced services with adequate training.