Head constable Satpal Tokas (40), sub-inspector Shubhendu Sharma (30) and constable Pooja Meena (28) of the Delhi Police went back to a classroom on Thursday morning — not to inspect a crime scene, but as curious students. They were part of a batch of 17 who were taking part in the Delhi Police’s initiative to improve communication skills of the lower rung staff of the force.
While the first half of the session focussed on the six S’s — swagat, sampark, sahanubhuti, samman, sabhya and samay — the second half saw the trainees in action, as they enacted everyday encounters with the public at police stations.
The classes for the officers, who come from police stations under the southwest district, are being conducted at the Indigo Airlines’ Ifly Training Academy, Gurgaon.
Public drinking in a park by a group of eight men, eve-teasing of girls outside a school, parking troubles in a congested colony, illegal construction, and mobile snatching were some of the scenes that were enacted by staff at the academy — with a politer, empathetic twist.
The officers played all roles — harassed complainants, eager to help duty officers and investigating officers.
“Sir, I will need your help in identifying the anti-social elements who drink in the park. I will come in the evening along with the beat officers in plain clothes,” said an IO, while another explained the nitty-gritty of a situation which falls under the MCD, not the police.
“Will you have some water?” “I understand your problem” and “Thank you” dominated the two-minute skits.
“This workshop has made me introspect my behaviour. I am re-learning how to be empathetic with the public. This was exciting,” said Tokas, from Safdarjung police station.
Constable Satish Kumar (30) from the Palam police station hoped “implementing the training at the workshop might help change public perception of the police.” The day-long workshops, mandatory for all districts of the Delhi Police, have been going on at the Academy since December 24, with a special curriculum designed by the two trainers, who otherwise deal with cabin crew.
“The workshop is being attended by women officers at the help desk at police stations, emergency officers and patrolling staff, constables and duty officers. The feedback of the staff and the trainers has been positive, but we will only know in the coming months as to how much of it is being implemented on the ground,” said DCP (southwest) Devender Arya.
For Delhi Cantonment constable Nisha (28), each day begins with her heading to the police station and dealing with complainants who come with a wide variety of issues.
On Thursday, however, she said the “stress had disappeared.”
“This was a breather, I am under no pressure today, and want to begin work tomorrow with a big smile on my face,” she said.