Interacting with families resolves problems, says Superintendent of Police

“My father never attends the parent-teacher association (PTA) meetings in my school. Every time I inform him about one, he has a stock reply that he can’t get permission from his boss to be away from work,” a 12-year-old boy, studying seventh standard in a city school, told a counselling session organised for the family members of police personnel by the Madurai District Police here on Sunday.

Many families echoed the boy's sentiment.

A 15-year-old boy wanted to become an IPS officer, and he was motivated by his Inspector father. “I asked my father whether I could go with him to his office and see him at work,” said the boy. After initial hesitation, his father agreed and the boy spent almost a full day at the office. On returning home, the boy told his mother, “I will never become a police officer…,” After a pause, the boy continued, “the way policemen are treated by their higher-ups is inhuman and my father vents his anger at home by yelling at us.”

The grievances aired at the meeting sounded alike.

Many women police, including those of the rank of Sub-Inspectors and Inspectors, wanted an exclusive counselling session with their husbands and children.

In his introductory speech, Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan said that it was an initiative earnestly being implemented with the objective of reaching out to the families of police personnel through counselling sessions.Interacting with family members helped resolve problems. “Wherever there is a possibility of setting things right, we will do so and ensure that there is harmony at home, which would also help staff perform better at the workplace,” he said.

Explaining the significance of counselling, the Association for Social Health in India (Madurai chapter) secretary Janet Shankar said, “It is a platform to air the good and bad things happening in a policeman’s family. One gets a chance to know the problems faced by each member in a family. Above all, this is an opportunity for the family members to meet the Superintendent of Police. Problems when get redressed, bringing them happiness. It is a good beginning and Madurai police are setting a model.”

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