By : Aashish Dhaliwal
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday announced a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country, to further strengthen the state’s law enforcement apparatus, with dedicated District Technical Units, along with District Narcotic Units, Social Media Units, Forensic Units and Anti-Sabotage Checking Teams, in all the districts.

Announcing the move, aimed at further strengthening the state’s law enforcement machinery to
address the new challenges of policing and investigation, the Chief Minister said after stabilising the law and order situation over the past four years, his government was now focusing on augmenting law enforcement further, with more touchpoints to tackle the new-age crimes, like Digital/Cyber Crimes, and enhance the safety and security of women and other vulnerable sections of the society.

Apart from 3100 domain experts to combat specialised crimes, 10000 police officials will be recruited, of which 33% will be women, at the level of SI and Constables, to expand the ground force and ensure more effective policing, said the Chief Minister.

With the changing nature of crime necessitating support and interventions by domain experts for the effective prevention/detection of crime, the Punjab Police would soon recruit around 3100 Specialist Police officers & domain experts in the fields of Law, Forensics, Digital Forensics, Information Technology, Data Mining, Cyber Security, Intelligence Analysis, Human Resource Management & Development and Road Safety Planning & Engineering, said Captain Amarinder, who also holds the Home portfolio.

The pioneering initiative, designed to transform the police force, will make Punjab the first state
in the country to induct Domain Experts, said the Chief Minister, as the state government geared up to scale the Police department to the next level, after successfully implementing a slew of drastic measures, in line with the government’s promise to ensure rule of law and maintain law and order in the state, and secure the well-being and safety of the common man.

Giving details of the initiatives, DGP Dinkar Gupta said the Domain Experts would include around 600 Law graduates, 450 Crime Scene Investigators, about 1350 IT experts with specialist qualifications and experience in law, Commerce, forensics, digital forensics, data mining, data analysis etc. for deployment as Cyber Detectives, Financial Detectives, Homicide Detectives, Sexual Assault and rape Detectives etc. In addition, the Punjab government will also recruit around 460 qualified and trained Counsellors, Clinical Psychologists and Community & Victim Support Officers for deployment at the Family Counselling Centres and Women Help Desks in all districts of the State.

To further augment women power in the police department, 3400 new women police officials will be recruited as part of the drive to enroll 10000 more police officials in the Punjab Police, mostly in the rank of Sub-Inspector and Constables. This translates into 33% women of the total recruitment, in line with the state government’s commitment to provide equal opportunity to women to compete with men for various positions in the Punjab Police, said Gupta. Out of the total recruitment of women, about 300 women will be recruited as Sub-Inspectors and more than 3100 would be inducted as Constables in Punjab Police.

The DGP said that once these specialized Police officers get recruited and join the Police department in 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2021, each of the 382 Police Stations in the State will have a dedicated Police Station Law Officer and a Community & Victim Support Officer. Similarly, 170 major Police Stations of Punjab, including Border Police Stations, will have dedicated Forensic Officers, Crime Data Analysts. In addition, Cyber Crime Detectives will be placed in each of the 100 Sub-Divisions in the State.

The initiatives are aligned to the state’s focus on protecting the safety and dignity of women, for which the Captain Amarinder Singh government has also recently launched the 181 Helpline and the Night Pick-Up and Drop-off facility. In addition to the establishment of ‘Family Counselling Centres’ in the 3 Police Commissionerates and urban districts of the State, to ensure speedy resolution of disruptive issues relating to matrimonial and familial discord, ‘Women Help Desks’ would soon be functional from all the 382 Police Stations of the State to support women, children and senior citizens in distress and deal promptly with cases of domestic violence etc.

Women police officers deployed at Women HelpDesks will serve as a single-point-of-contact for the women living in their area. The names and phone numbers of designated officials will be put up on the Punjab Police website. Punjab government would be recruiting around 460 qualified and trained Counsellors, Clinical Psychologists and Community & Victim Support Officers for deployment at the Family Counselling Centres and Women Help Desks.

Further, in view of the increasing number of fatal accidents as a result of the increase in vehicular traffic, 15 qualified Civil engineers and planners will soon be recruited as Road Safety Associates to facilitate safe and smooth flow of transport across the highways and roads of Punjab.