The security build up in the city following the November 26, 2008 Mumbai attack will soon have another facet. Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik has plans to make police stations more alert.
"The plan will essentially include fine tuning the existing set up. The police station is the first responder to
any crisis within its jurisdiction. And if it manages to respond in the first 10 minutes effectively and holds the fort till reinforcements (including special forces and equipment) arrive, there would be minimal damage," he said.
As responding to critical situations entails advanced training and practice in weaponry as well as a standard operating procedure, the new plan, called "Response 10" will equip and enable constables with these skills.
Patnaik said at any given time, each of the 91 police stations has around 10 constables on duty.
"When a situation arises, at least five constables should be in a position to engage the criminals," he adds.
"Our aim is to train those five constables to effectively put up a first line of defence till specialised units rush in," he said, adding that mainly young constables would be chosen for training.
The training, he says, will involve handling sophisticated firearms (such as the recently procured MP 3 automatic rifles) and diffusing bombs.
"For that purpose, every police station will be provided with around five sophisticated weapons, ammunition, equal number of bullet proof vests and bomb suits," he adds.
Joint commissioner of police, Law and Order, Rajnish Seth has been given the charge of formulating the modalities in order to put it in action in the coming days, Patnaik adds.