Hit by acute shortage of human resources, Karur police are struggling to overcome odds with available manpower. Vacancy level is at an all-time high of around 33 per cent at the foot soldier level while at the middle management level things are not that rosy either.

The sanctioned strength of the police force in Karur district is 710 of which only around 530 have been occupied at present. The vacancy at the Grade I and Grade II level is abysmally low with hardly 60 per cent to answer the roll call. In the level of the middle management officers, the posts of two additional superintendents of police, a deputy superintendent of police, and 13 sub-inspectors are lying unfilled. Hemmed in on all sides by the high vacancy level, the force is struggling to meet the regular duties, crime prevention activities, crime detection, investigations, and court proceedings related to undertrials. Practically no police station or police wing has escaped the acute human resource shortage problem, sources in the department said.

Karur has the third smallest police force in the State after Ariyalur and Perambalur districts in staff strength. While the State shortage was estimated at around 18 per cent, it was around 24 per cent in Karur.

Security duties call for the Karur police personnel takes away a chunk of the force many times. In the recent times, hundreds of Karur police personnel were deployed for the Velankanni Basilica annual feast, Prime Minister’s Thirumayam trip, twice for Chief Minister’s trips to Srirangam, Neyveli agitation, PMK agitations in Ariyalur, and Thanjavur districts and so on. They drain the depleted resources. Of course, the Home Guards and Tamil Nadu Traffic Police Wardens aid in traffic regulation and allied duties to a great extent but regular policing suffered hugely in the district. If the senior officials were to deny that policing did not suffer because of manpower shortage, then there would be no justification for seeking more personnel, say insiders.

Facing the facts straight, there was a strong need for increasing the number of police personnel beyond just filling vacancies at present. The recent move by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on recruiting police constables and technical officers would be a good opportunity to bridge the gap. That apart, the recruitment of Tamil Nadu Special Police Youth Brigade could ameliorate the sufferings of the emaciated force to some extent.