Two years after the 26/11 terror attacks, the city police continue to grapple with the problem of staff shortage.
A recent right to information (RTI) query filed by activist Raja Bunch has revealed that the city’s 90 police stations have glaring vacancies.
Nearly 52% of the posts are vacant at the police sub-inspectors (PSI) level. Similarly, at the assistant police inspectors (API) level, 36% posts are vacant while 18% of posts for police constables are also vacant.
Apart from the obvious burden that such vacancies might create on lower-rung officials, senior officials admit that the consequences go beyond work. “Apart from being demoralised, discontent brews among policemen and most of the times it comes out on civilians. Plus, many policemen suffer from stress-induced ailments,” a senior police officer said on condition of anonymity.
Another senior official, posted with the local arms division, said: “There is lack of political will to improve the condition of the police force.
Also, the state lacks adequate and properly-equipped training schools. Hence, even if recruitment is stepped up, where do we get them trained?”
The Cuffe Parade police station, under whose jurisdiction the 10 terrorists had landed on November 26, 2008, has a sanctioned strength of six APIs, but only three posts are filled. Out of the 19 sanctioned PSI, the station has only six. The cyber crime investigation cell, having a sanctioned strength of 17 PSIs, has merely five sub-inspectors.
Officials say efforts are being made to fill the vacancies. Sanjeev Dayal commissioner of police, said, “There are bound to be vacancies in the force since there haven’t been any recruitments in the past few years. However, things are looking up now since the MPSC recruitments are on in full swing. I’m told that 1,000 officers are being trained at the police academy. Things will improve soon.”