Students to play special cops during Ganesh festivalNews — By The Desk on September 13, 2010 at 12:26 PM
Times of India: Donning special caps and carrying whistles, boys and girls from colleges in the Pimpri-Chinchwad and Yerawada areas are gearing up for the Ganesh festival to assist the police in maintaining law and order.
These “special police officers” (SPOs) will be in action during the 11-day festival between 7 pm and 10 pm at various pandals and crowded places. On the fifth and sixth day of the festival, the SPOs will work from 7 pm to midnight.
City police commissioner Meeran Chadha Borwankar recently issued directives to all the four zonal deputy commissioners (DCP) in the Pune police commissionerate to appoint the SPOs for the festival.
The DCPs of zone III and zone IV targeted students among others to assist them. DCP Dnyaneshwar Chavan (zone III), who took the initiative to have college students as SPOs, has appointed as many as 1,000 of them, while DCP Sanjay Jadhav (zone IV) is roping in students who did internship at the police stations in his zone, besides appointing ex-servicemen and retired police personnel for the purpose.
“I feel the public will relate more easily and respond better to students than policemen or older citizens,” Chavan told TOI on Thursday.
Chavan said the Bombay Police Act empowers the commissioner and superintendent-level officers to appoint SPOs if the need arises. “I have written to the principals of the colleges identified for the purpose and their response has been largely positive. Around 30 students, including women, have been appointed from each college,” he added.
“The SPOs will monitor hand-held and door-frame metal detectors installed by the mandals.”
DCP Jadhav (zone IV) said college students will be of great help to the police as they will have a better rapport with youngsters visiting Ganesh pandal. Asked how many students will work for his force, he said the list will be ready on Friday.
DCP Dnyaneshwar Phadtare (zone-I) said, “We are appointing retired police and ex-servicemen as SPOs during the festival. We have prepared a list of such people,” he said. “The police have given anti-sabotage training to the members of the Ganesh mandals. We have also started taking preventive action against criminals,” Phadtare said.