The Delhi police personnel will soon be seen in a new avatar.
The men-in-khaki are set to get a new uniform and caps, besides better and upgraded bulletproof jackets and weapons that they carry while patrolling the city.
The current police uniforms are made of not so user-friendly terrycotton cloth material. Plans are afoot now to replace this with a special fabric (khadi polyvastra) for more comfort. New lighter and cotton-made waterproof caps will also be introduced in place of the old woolen beret caps that caused discomfort to the constabulary, who do most of the leg work.
The bulletproof jacket, which is in use currently, weighs around 11 kgs and cause problems for the cops. These, however, will soon be replaced with an advanced and lighter version of bullet-resistant vests. The new ballistic vest will come in three categories - for top rank officers, for officers engaged in patrolling and law and order duty, and commandos handling riots and terror attacks.
According to a senior police officer, the average weight of the new bulletproof vest, being designed for senior officers and constabulary, will be between 2.5kg and 3kg. Similarly, bullet-resistant jackets for commandos will not exceed 5kg and the jacket will have an additional protective gear for shielding the groin.
Special commissioner of police (provision and logistics), Rajesh Malik has been made in-charge for finalizing the process of procuring modified lightweight bulletproof jackets for Delhi police personnel. Several international as well as Indian companies have approached the provision and logistics department with their products.
“Once the product and its manufacturing company are decided, the tendering process will be started. While the average cost of the existing bulletproof jacket is between Rs 30,000 and Rs 40,000, the price might go up to around Rs 1 lakh, considering the requirement of protection gears in the jackets,” said a senior officer.
Prodded about the urgency in procuring lighter bulletproof jackets, the officer said police personnel were often reluctant to wear the existing bullet-resistant jackets owing to its heavy weight.
“The material used in the existing bulletproof jacket not only increases its weight but also make it not so user-friendly for policemen who work for long hours,” the officer explained.
About the new uniform, the officer said, the decision to explore good quality, eco-friendly and breathable cloth material was taken by Delhi police commissioner BS Bassi.
Apart from uniform, caps and bulletproof jackets, the city police are already in the process of replacing outdated weapons with advanced armaments.