During his tenure as the Indian Police Service officer attached to Assam cadre, Dilip K. Das had seen the problems of policing in India. That was in the Seventies, when the nation was learning to tackle the Naxalite movement.
“When I went abroad for higher studies, I was interested to study how police over there handled political and student movements,” Dr. Das, founding president of the International Police Executive Symposium (IPES), told The Hindu on the sidelines of Global Community Policing Conclave 2010 – a special meeting of IPES, being held here.
“A police officer, instead of doing all the security business himself, must engage community leaders and mobilise their support,” said Dr. Das, whose doctoral thesis was on the subject ‘policing and human relations'.
“I have seen youngsters approach a Japanese police officer in a Koban and ask for pen and paper to fill up some application.” (A koban is a small neighbourhood police station in Japan. The koban, which is the smallest organisational unit in Japanese police system, functions from small buildings located within the community.)
Despite the initiatives by agencies like IPES, social unrests keep coming back.
“The police officials are, to some extent, responsible. The police do not internalise the philosophy of a particular approach, they mechanically do it. They must learn that ultimately it is about problem solving and not shifting the problem from one place to another.”
As the head of the IPES, Dr. Das is attempting to “make police leaders think and share their ideas. Practical men often do not share their ideas.” And, by doing this, he is attempting to bring research and policing together to make the police an instrument for public service.
The association of IPES with City Police started a couple of years ago, when City Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham and then Inspector General of Police, Ernakulam Range, Vinson M. Paul presented the community policing initiative at the meeting held at Macedonia.