Police stations set to be spick and span under novel project

Police stations set to be spick and span under novel project
Officers cleaning Kasaba police station.

Kozhikode: Police personnel rarely invite their near and dear one to their workplace. One reason for this could be the poor condition of the facility. A typical police station is cramped and untidy, though efforts to develop police stations have commenced here and there in the country. An innovative step to revamp police stations in Kozhikode city is on and it is inspired by the Japanese concept of gradual improvement of work processes.    

The plan is not confined to just cleaning and reorganising but paving way for better interaction with the public and better policing, say the officers. 

Twenty police stations in Kozhikode city have been given a 16-day challenge titled 'KAIZEN'  by Commissioner K Sanjay Kumar Gurudin. (The Japanese word kaizen literally means small continuous improvement.) Under the project, based on the famed Japanese method, the revamp work does not end in a single day, but over a period. The cops have been instructed to record the improvements brought about everyday, and post at least one 'before and after' photograph of the area that would be transformed. They include even proper arrangement of unclaimed vehicles on station premises. Once the cleaning and reorganising works are over, 100m periphery of the stations would be turned into 'zero tolerance zones' in terms of lack of upkeep.

Police stations set to be spick and span under novel project
Nadakkavu police station after renovation.

The station house officer has to post the progress achieved  everyday in their WhatsApp group so that all the stations could review their work as well as compare with the other stations. 

The project envisages that the entire police station be divided into smallest possible units and cops dedicate each day to each section. Starting from January 29, the improvement period lasts till February 15. 

“It is not a one-day objective to clean the office and premises. Had it been a directive to clean the office every Friday or any other day, it would been treated like an ordinary circular. This is different. Everyday, we are cleaning a section of the office or premise, and in 16 days, it would be a totally different place for us as well as the public,” says V P Pavithran, district president of the Kerala Police Association (KPA). 

“It should not be seen as mere cleaning or housekeeping activity. But it is focused on continuous improvement in every aspect of policing, whether it is police building, infrastructure, petition enquiry, investigation, personal turnout and police behaviour. It will help every police personnel to get a feel of getting involved. It should not be viewed as an order from the top, rather as a mechanism of participative decision and implementation,” said the Commissioner.

Though the extra work, apart from the regular law and order duties, raised a few eyebrows in the beginning, it has started showing a welcome change in the work environment, says Nadakkavu station house officer CI T K Ashraf, whose station now welcomes the petitioners in a room with new curtains and chairs. 

“There were many unwanted goods and damaged furniture that had to be removed. Such works were delayed owing to case backlog. In fact, the work efficiency improves in a cleaner and better organised atmosphere. It helps maintain better relationship with the petitioners, who do not have to hesitate in proceeding to a station,” the CI adds.

“Every station is participating with enthusiasm. Nearly one hour is needed per day to clear each stipulated area. Some have gone beyond cleaning and have painted walls and put new curtains,” says Elathur SI Dhananjaya Das TV.

Now, the cops fear that as the project concludes, the best as well as the poorly managed police station would be 'awarded'  and no cop wants theirs to fall in the second category. 

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