If you ever had a yen for uniform and never got an opportunity to wear one, this might be your chance.
The State police are all set to raise a ‘voluntary force’ of civilians with expertise in various fields, including IT, medicine and law, to assist the law enforcement as ‘uniformed non-commissioned part time officers.’
They will be declared as Special Police Officers (SPO) under the Kerala Police Act and accorded ‘honorary Sub Inspector and Honorary Inspector ranks’ based on their ‘qualification, expertise and contribution’ to the force. Their uniform will be ‘smart and distinctive’ with shoulder badges indicating their rank.
A board of top officials will select the ‘Community Oriented Police Officers’ (COPs). After a month of basic police training, they will assist in law enforcement for a minimum 40 hours every month. Their service timings will be flexible.
Only civic minded persons who are profitably employed need apply. The police will bestow medals and promotions on those COPs who serve the force meritoriously. An Inspector General of Police (IGP) will command the force. They will be called to duty also in times of disasters and emergencies. The police will primarily recruit IT professionals to assist in cyber crime investigations, hardware engineers to maintain its computer networks, cyber security experts, lawyers to aid criminal investigation and counsel victims of crime, accountants to assist the Frauds Squad, veterinarians to support dog and mounted police units, doctors, front office managers and marine operations specialists.
Psychologists will help the police assist victims of crime, chiefly women and children, and counsel couples involved in domestic disputes. The selection process includes an entrance test, interview, medical assessment, and fitness tests and background checks. The recruits will take the Police Oath and turn out in good order for their passing out parade. The police will train them in radio procedure, report writing, crime scene management, self-defence, non-lethal use of force, traffic management, human rights, first aid, use of hand-cuffs and batons. The COPs will have no powers to arrest nor will they be deployed in police operations involving the use of force. However, they can confiscate contraband items, illicit liquor, and drugs, detain minors indulging in substance abuse, enter and search premises to save life, remove abandoned vehicles and control traffic while serving in uniform. State Police Chief Shri.K.S. Balasubramanian IPS and IGP Shri.Manoj Abraham IPS are heading the project.