Chennai: In a span of three years, Greater Chennai Police Commissioner A K Viswanathan, who has now been transferred and appointed as the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP, Operations), has brought in an impressive host of reforms to the department.
He was from the 1990 IPS batch and took charge as Commissioner of Chennai Police in 2017. From the start, he focused on improving the digital face of the city police by adopting technology such as CCTV cameras, mobile phone apps and e-payments.
He is credited for starting the successful campaign, ‘Third Eye’, an effort to bring the city under CCTV surveillance.
Around 2,50,000 cameras have been installed after his initiative. This has helped the police in crime prevention and detection.
He was able to establish a better rapport with the public by going all out in promoting a number of initiatives, which helped the public avoid unwanted hassles.
The popular apps have been DigiCop and Facetagr. He is said to have worked along with the National Crime Records Bureau in developing the apps.
DigiCop App came handy when tracking the status of an FIR and Facetgr is a face recognition tool to immediately identify suspects.
SOS Kavalan App, which was developed by the Tamilnadu police, is a hit among women and senior citizens. Viswanathan went to a number of educational institutions and public meetings promoting the app and interacting with the public, encouraging them to use the app for their safety. It is one of the most downloaded safety apps on Play Store.
The use of technology in police department helped maintain peace and order, many opine.
Viswanthan ensured he attended as many events when invited by residents’ associations to inaugurate CCTV cameras thereby creating a rapport with the public.
He also made payment of fines by violators online, especially when it came to traffic violations. This was done to reduce corruption. One of his notable achievements was the modernisation of police stations across the city.
For the first time, gyms, badminton courts, resting rooms and air-conditioned waiting halls and gardens were built on station premises. He also encouraged police inspectors to hold celebrations such as Pongal in the police station and make it more people friendly.
It may be noted that K-4 Anna Nagar police station was adjudged the fifth best police station in the entire country consisting of 15,555 police stations.
Under his tenure, Viswanathan asked Police Inspectors to put up a timetable on the notice board so that visitors to the station would know when they will be available instead of waiting endlessly.
The city police force says he has taken time to meet each policemen from any rank to appreciate them for the good work they have done. Tomorrow, Vishwanathan will be taking charge as ADGP, Operations.