"The force will be satisfied, because the usually sensitive period has passed without any major untoward incidents or law and order disturbances"

When the Onam festivities draw to a close on Monday, the city police will heave a huge sigh of relief. They ought to, for in the past two weeks, the entire city police machinery, right from the Commissionerate to three police sub-divisions, 10 circles, and about 20 police stations, has been on its toes, round the clock, sweating it out in the sun and getting drenched in the rain too.

“It has been a tough period. But the force will be satisfied, because the usually sensitive period has passed without any major untoward incidents or law and order disturbances,” City Police Commissioner T.J. Jose says.

In fact, for Mr. Jose and his team, preparations for the season began nearly a month earlier. Special units were formed, additional personnel identified and deployed, special control rooms set up, additional closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed, patrol teams strengthened with additional jeeps and motorbikes, new motorbike patrols positioned, and above all, traffic arrangements drawn out in advance.

Traffic management was one of the crucial aspects, Mr. Jose says. One difference this year, he says, was that instead of putting up more ‘No Parking’ signs or announcing more such areas, the police identified parking spaces in and around the city and announced these to the public. There were traffic snarls still, but none that threatened to hold the city hostage.

Other arrangements included installation of nearly 120 CCTV cameras, apart from the 240 regular police cameras that monitored every part of the city. Six motorbike patrols kept watch on vulnerable areas, while more on jeeps moved round the city 24x7.

The police personnel, nearly 1,200 of them, who were on the roads from dawn to midnight and beyond every day for the past two weeks, will get time to spend with their families, apart from an incentive of Rs.500 from the government – recognition for the hard work they put in.