As COVID-19 cases rise, police officers seek rearrangement of work

With nine police officers at the Pantheerankavu station testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the Kerala Police Association and the Kerala Police Officers Association have called for work rearrangement for the force by introducing a convenient shift system that can reduce the total workload and ensure personal safety.

The associations have requested the District Police Chief (Kozhikode City) to maintain 50% of the total staff at a time for duty and manage law and order responsibilities. They pointed out that a similar strategy adopted during the first wave of the pandemic was a success.

“Though a majority of our members have got preventive vaccines, the rising number of cases among them is a serious concern. At least the senior members in various police stations should be exempted from outdoor duty,” said a functionary of the Kerala Police Association. He said the stress of intensified enforcement activities and continuous patrol duties were taking a toll on many police officers within city limits.

Meanwhile, senior police officers in charge of enforcement activities pointed out that an immediate work rearrangement would be difficult, considering the worsening COVID-19 situation. According to them, the intensified enforcement activities and field-level surveillance measures by the police would be crucial in managing the situation.

“We are now in the initial phase of action that demands more energy and effort on the part of the existing force. Though the request for work rearrangement is genuine in many cases, we are helpless to consider it now,” said a senior officer with the city police. He said the shortage of staff on duty in some stations due to COVID-19 infection would be managed by deploying the required personnel from nearby stations.

As a temporary solution to control the rush at police stations, filing of online petitions would be encouraged. To ensure the safety of police personnel, the entry of visitors to stations without prior permission would be restricted.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 4:24:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/as-covid-19-cases-rise-police-officers-seek-rearrangement-of-work/article34396830.ece

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