KARNATAKA

State Police to have videoconference facility

BANGALORE Oct. 26. The State Police, after providing computers to all the police stations, have decided to set up a comprehensive videoconference facility. The facility, when fully implemented, will not only reduce the need for police officers from the districts to come to Bangalore to attend departmental conferences but also ensure faster and more efficient exchange of views.

Estimated to cost Rs. 1.5 crore, the videoconference facility is undergoing extensive testing at the State Crime Records Bureau (SCRB) premises here. The SCRB has been entrusted with the task of providing the facility and also technically evaluating it and monitoring its working.

The Additional Director-General of Police (SCRB), S.T. Ramesh, told The Hindu that videoconferencing facilities had been provided in all the 27 districts apart from other police units such as the Corps of Detectives (CoD).

While there are two videoconference units at the State Police Headquarters here on Nrupathunga Road, the office of the Commissioner of Police, Bangalore, and the office of the Superintendent of Police, Bangalore Rural District, have been given one unit each.

The commissionerates of Mysore and Hubli-Dharwad have also been given the facility. At any given time, a senior police officer, including the Director-General and Inspector-General of Police, can talk to 16 Superintendents of Police (SPs) simultaneously.

Dwelling on the benefits of videoconference, Mr. Ramesh said any senior police officer could talk to the SPs about an incident or progress of a case and hold review meetings. The facility would not only save the Police Department money but also ensure that cases were monitored more closely.

Now, a police officer has to be physically present before his senior to discuss the progress of a case or convey the information through wireless, telephone, or telex.

Karnataka is one of the few States that have not only modernised its police force but also kept pace with the changes in information technology. The State was the first to provide computers to all the 809 police stations and other police units and it is also, perhaps, the first to install a videoconference facility.

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