The project has come as boon for cops facing acute shortage of manpower in Chittoor.
Nellore: The Community Police Project, introduced by the Chittoor police department in the beginning of 2016, inviting all sections of society to participate in police duties, has started paying dividends. It is evident that it is working as there has been steep drop in house break-ins and thefts, a common place occurrence in Chittoor during summer. The project has also come as a boon for field level police officers who have been facing acute shortage of manpower.
The theme of the project is “Proactive policing to contain crime” and it uses preventive measures and creates awareness with the help of the community. As many as 4,500 people have enrolled in the project as Community Police Officers (CPOs) and many more have been coming forward to volunteer their efforts. The target is to enrol 50 people for each police station at the mandal-level, 100 at the circle-level, 150 in civic bodies and 200 under each police station in towns in the first phase. These numbers will be doubled in the second and third phases.
Three to five people of good character from each village are vital for mand-al-level police stations, wi-th constables assigned to every panchayat screening them prior to selection. “There used to be at least 30 to 40 major thefts in summer months; the number came down to two or three this year because our patrol teams, consisting of two or three policemen, have been assisted by four or five youths among the CPOs this time in every ward. They paid special attention to 200-odd locked houses, which are soft targets for offenders, by securing details about them. There were even instances of the youths giving chase and catching hold of the offenders,” said I. Ramakrishna, DSP, and coordinator of the Community Police Project. He said that information provided by some CPOs had also helped them seize red sanders and prevent crimes in many parts of the district.
Referring to ladies, retired employees and senior citizens coming forward to work as CPOs, he said that their services were being used at the reception, for counselling and record maintenance among other tasks. Chittoor SP G. Srinivas, who designed the project, said that any individual above 18 years of age was welcome to join the voluntary service.