Close on the heels of the transfer of 35 officers from the traffic department, the Mumbai Police has launched another initiative to give its traffic force a makeover, by inducting fresh personnel into its ranks.
Newly appointed Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Milind Bharambe and his team have, since May 6, conducted interviews of more than 500 constables who want to join the traffic department and at least four more days of interviews are left. Bharambe stressed that the initiative was a part of his agenda to “reorient the structure of the force” and to change its ethos.
“We don’t need unwanted elements. The transfer of the 35 officers has set the tone. This recruitment process will help us to not have the wrong people,” Bharambe added.
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According to senior officers, a message was last week sent out to all police stations in each of the five regions in the city, specifically for officers who are due for transfers from their respective police stations, asking them if they wanted to apply for a job at the traffic department.
Inspectors who conducted the interviews said they were going through the performance reports of each applicant over the past five years from their superiors.
There are questions to be asked about basic things like whether the applicant has a driving licence or knows the traffic rules and regulations well.
“There will also be specific focus on the appearance of the constable. We want to change the perception of officers on the field. We are even looking for additional attributes such as swimming, which could come in great use during the times of disaster management,” Bharambe said.
Senior officers who conducted the interviews even asked the applicants if they had enough knowledge on the geography of the city, traffic rules, current affairs and also if they spoke any additional languages.
“We need to know his behaviour, which is usually the problem. A traffic constable faces a lot of stress. We need to assess him based on his attitude in a particular situation and the way he speaks. We are also not looking for pot-bellied officers,” said Govind Parmare, senior police inspector, Worli division.