Policemen are poised for a change. For one, car designer Dilip Chhabria is likely to be roped in to customise hi-tech motorbikes for beat marshals — the lowest rung of the force.
Armed with lighter walkie-talkies, a weapon and faster wheels, the beat marshal is expected to reach the crime scene faster.
Home Minister Jayant Patil said he has held talks with Chhabria to convert police bikes into “something more modern”. This is one of Patil’s several ideas to modernise the police force’s working.
“The beat marshal should ideally be residents’ pointsperson for registering any criminal incident,” said Patil. “We plan to publicise his mobile number across neighbourhoods so that constables can reach the scene of a crime as quickly as possible. This scheme is exclusively for the Mumbai police.”
Each one of the city’s police stations is divided into beats and manned by beat marshals.
A portal for the police force is also on the cards.
To be developed by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), it aims at smoothening administration for the state’s 1.86-lakh police force. Everything from leave applications to transfer requests can be applied online and accessed on the portal by superiors, said Patil.
The portal will enable the police to take down first information reports online, keep records of individual police diaries and investigation.
“Our method of taking down FIRs is tedious and it makes sense to keep computerised data. Similarly, the administration needs to be modernised. This portal will help us organise the force and information better,” said Patil.
TCS will make an initial presentation and quote a price before embarking on the project, which could be completed in about four months.
Patil is also considering changing some performance appraisal rules to ensure police postings are based on career graphs and not influences.
The portal will include certain performance markers, where superiors will have to grade policemen on their skills like handling law and order, communal situations and people-friendly approach. These marks will help in postings.
“Political opinions can be considered but performance should be the sole criterion.”
Impressed by his visit to Chicago last year, Patil worked out foreign jaunts for policemen to learn better policing techniques.
Four teams will go to Chicago, New York, Beijing, Shanghai, London and Israel.