Traffic policemen are a divided lot

While the newer recruits see merit in being armed, older policemen are wary of carrying guns

Traffic policemen in the city are divided over whether or not they need to carry guns for protection. There are approximately 3,500 traffic personnel across all ranks in Bengaluru. While newer recruits see merit in the Police Commissioner’s decision that all uniformed personnel be armed, older policemen, who have only a few years of service left before they retire, are wary of carrying guns. They argue that it does fit the job profile. “It’s not feasible to carry a weapon all the time. What happens if we have to deal with a crowd and we lose it,” a traffic policeman asked.

Another argument is that a majority of the traffic policemen in the city are not trained to handle weapons, and do not have time to practise. “We have over 15 hours of duty every day. We barely have time for family and friends. When do we train with guns,” asked a senior police officer.

However, with traffic policemen increasingly coming under attack or facing the wrath of motorists, younger recruits feel that a gun will serve as a deterrent. “When a police officer is transferred or is due to retire, he or she has to relinquish the weapon to the armoury. The weapon will then be issued to another policeman once a requisition is made,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) R. Hitendra.

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