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Befitting reward

K. Radhakrishnan, IG of Police, Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, received the IACP Award recently for his work after the Coimbatore blasts.

K. RADHAKRISHNAN, IG of Police, Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC), Chennai has won two International awards in a short span of two months. One was the Queen's Award from the British Government for introducing computer training for women police on dispute resolution. Now he is the second Asian to win the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Award for community policing, which was presented to him at the IACP annual conference in Minneapolis, U.S.

He was chosen for the award for effectively dealing with the situation in the aftermath of the serial blasts in Coimbatore, where he served as the Commissioner of Police (CoP) between March 1998 and May 2001.

Excerpts from an interview:

Tell us something about IACP, the conference and the award.

The IACP has about 20,000 members and is represented by more than 100 countries. The idea of organising the conference is to create an opportunity for the police officers from all over the world to meet and discuss contemporary issues and problems. Each year the IACP gives away four awards including one for community policing.

Did you notice any significant differences in the policing methods in the U.S.?

The activities of a county or city police department are not known to the other departments. For example what the New York Police Department (NYPD) does is not known to the neighbouring county police department. But they are all networked and could share information instantly.

Did the conference bring out any new ideas that can be implemented in India?

Yes, quite a few ideas. Firstly the individual capabilities of policemen can be improved by training them in various skills. Every policeman must know to operate a computer and should be good in drafting and writing so that he can prepare case diaries. Besides, they should also be trained in behavioural skills for better interaction with public.

What steps did you take to deal with the situation in Coimbatore?

We formed 72 area committees covering all the 72 wards in the city. The police conducted the searches in the presence of the area committee members, who were all local residents. People cooperated with us and the job was made easier, which helped us arrest many of the accused. The idea of forming area committees was to sort out smaller problems so that it did not snowball into a major one. In short, the public did the job of the police.

What was your top priority after you assumed office in Coimbatore?

The main priority was to prevent any further violence in the city. Arresting all the absconding accused, unearthing hidden explosives and weapons and to remove hatred and mistrust among the people were the other top priorities.

What is happening on the community-policing front in the state?

The DGP has constituted a committee under my chairmanship to implement the concept of community policing all over the state.


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