The unique Student Police Cadets (SPC) project launched by the State police is getting followers from many other States and even abroad, even as the project itself is poised for a major expansion.
Gujarat government has decided to start SPC in 40 schools in the southern parts of the State.
Sources in the State police said their counterparts spoke about Gujarat Chief Secretary assuring them to get approval of the scheme across the State.
“The project is already on in Rajasthan and a team comprising one Additional Director General of Police and two Superintendents of Police from Haryana stayed here for almost a week to study the scheme. We also have got enquiries about the scheme from Ghana,” said P. Vijayan, Commissioner of Police, Thiruvananthapuram City and the State Nodal Officer of SPC.
In a communication addressed to the State Nodal Officer, Franklin Osafo, Staff Officer Administration, Combined Cadet Force, Ghana, expressed the wish to partner with SPC youth development and also work on “exchange programme between our police cadet corps and SPC.”
The Combined Cadet Force, Ghana, is a cadet organisation that handles cadets training and development in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions and is engaged with a strength of over 200,000 cadet members, Sub.Lt. Osafo, said.
Modelled on the NSS and the NCC, the SPC was conceived as a school-based youth development initiative, which is meant to inculcate respect for the law, discipline, civic sense and social responsibility among students.
The project is currently on at nearly 250 schools in the State.
The concept was mooted by Mr. Vijayan when he was the SP, Ernakulam Rural, and was tried out on experimental basis at Government Vocational Higher Secondary School, Iringol, and St. Peter’s VHSS, Kolenchery, both in Ernakulam Rural, in 2008.
As per the scheme, platoons of 40 students will be first selected from Class VIII for this two-year programme and designated as Junior SPC.
These cadets will be introduced to laws and given formal physical training in the form of morning parades. Junior SPCs will interact closely with serving police personnel and they will visit police stations, courts in session and prisons. Next year, these cadets will be promoted as Senior SPCs, after which they will take active roles in community policing.
Even while some top officials in the State police complained about increasing the load of the existing work force, which is much short of the actual requirement, the State government is working towards creating posts for police personnel given charge at schools.
“The request was for creating a post for police personnel at schools for which they are responsible. But now there is a suggestion that one officer should be given charge of two schools so that the number of schools in which SPC is launched could also be doubled,” said Mr. Vijayan.
Besides working on expansion plans, the officers are also expecting calls from their counterparts for training and other support once the SPC gets going in their States. According to the initial discussions, the State police will spare officers to Gujarat and other States. “We have already shared with them all the documents related to the project. We have been told that these documents are now being translated. We might now be invited over for training their officers,” he said.