Call it a coincidence or a calculated move of the state government to post senior policemen from sports quota in the city, known as the ‘sports nursery of Punjab’. The top brass of the city police commissionerate has started to virtually look like a ‘sports team’, as all six additional deputy commissioners of police (ADCPs) are from the sports quota.
Only the police commissioner and deputy commissioner of police are not from the sports category.
The sportsmen officers include ADCP (headquarters) Lakhwinder Singh Khaira, ADCP (crime) Harpreet Singh Mandher, ADCP (special branch) Baljit Singh Dhillon, ADCP (traffic) Sukhdev Singh, ADCP (city-1) Naresh Dogra, and ADCP (city-2) Parminder Singh Bhandal.
While Khaira, Mandher, Dhillon and Sukhdev are former hockey players, Dogra was a judo player and Bhandal was a basketball player.
While four of the ADCPs are not graduates, they got their posts through their outstanding performances in sports, sources in the commissionerate said.
When asked if these officers had the training required for effective policing, police commissioner Ram Singh said, “Who says that sportsmen police officers are not good in policing.” However, a senior police official, on the condition of anonymity, admitted that lack of experience did hamper effective policing.
“Usually, police officers recruited under sports quota are not deputed for field duty in their initial days, so they do not get the ground experience that officers of similar ranks in non-sports category get,” he added. Incidentally, former captain of the Indian hockey team Pargat Singh is the local MLA and is said to have been instrumental in enabling posting of hockey players as ADCPs in the city police.
ADCP (crime) Harpreet Singh Mandher, former hockey player, said that there was no difficulty in performing duties, as adequate training is given before deployment in the field. “Yes, education matters a lot, as in legal proceedings, knowledge of law is must,” Mandher said, when pointed out that four of the ADCPs in the city are undergraduates.