Kodiyeri Balakrishnan will be remembered for trying to give a facelift to the image of Kerala Police among the public by rolling out the Janamaithri (people-friendly) Police initiative.
Launched on March 28, 2008 in his tenure as Home Minister in the Left front government, the Janamaithri Suraksha project had marked the start of the community policing initiatives of the State Police.
Though the project was rolled out two years after the Left government came to power in 2006, Mr. Balakrishnan had made it clear in the initial days itself that the idea of a people-friendly police force remained top among his priorities as Home Minister.
In his maiden interaction with the media after assuming charge as Home Minister in 2006, Mr. Balakrishnan had made it clear that the government will not allow “third degree methods” in police stations. He had then said that a wide gap existed between the police and the public, while reminding that the police officials should behave in a decent manner with the public when they approached police stations to lodge complaints. The Janamaithri project was able to change it by deploying trained men and women beat officers to interact with the citizens.
In her article on ‘Community Policing Initiatives in Kerala’ published in The Hindu in November 2010, B. Sandhya, DGP, who was then nodal officer for the project, said that many of the projects implemented under the community policing initiative were extremely successful and crime reduction up to 50% was achieved in the police station areas of Irinjalakuda, Perinthalmanna, Kochi and Aluva. Such was the degree of acceptance of the project that all MLAs wanted it implemented in their constituencies, she said.