Two recent decisions by the Tamilnadu police department deserve plaudits. While one is to instal CCTV cameras at all important places of the city, the other is to ban the use of mobile phones by its personnel. Despite all the good features they have, cellphones are the biggest distraction of the modern era and it is an undeniable fact that mobile usage affects the productivity and focus of workforce. And it is doubly so for police personnel, who need utmost concentration in their work.
A recent circular issued by the office of Director General of Police (DGP) T K Rajendran, particularly spoke of men in uniform using mobiles to surf social media. “It is noticed that police personnel deployed on important bandobust (security) duties, frequently use phones for WhatsApp, etc., and this distracts them from discharging official duties, particularly at sensitive and critical times,” it said.
Henceforth, only officials above the rank of sub-inspector can use mobile phones while on duty even as it is “used only for official purpose”, it said, and added: “Hence, cellphones should not be used by other ranks during important duties such as law and order, VVIP bandobust, temple and festival bandobust.” The circular further said the unit officers may decide on the time and specific places where the restriction would be in place and directed them to ensure that the instructions were communicated down the line by way of a circular, besides reading them out during daily roll-call. A welcome move, let us hope it will pave the way for better policing.