COVID-19 brought to fore the soft, humane side of police force: IPS Association secy

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New Delhi, Mar 20 (PTI) Nearly 2 lakh policemen were infected with COVID-19 of which 1,120 succumbed to the virus but that did not deter the force from helping those in distress, including animals and birds, the national IPS Association said on Saturday.

Ashwani Chand, secretary, IPS (central) Association said the pandemic also brought to fore the soft and humane side of the force.

The Delhi Police and the Delhi Traffic Police have also played a commendable role throughout the pandemic period, ensuring vehicular movement of essential supplies such as medicines, healthcare and frontline workers and vaccines, and also safe and comfortable transit for students, migrant workers and tourists, he said.

Speaking at an event, he said around 2 lakh policemen were infected with COVID on duty and about 1,120 personnel lost their lives.

'But that did not deter the force from doing its duties,' he said 'A year on, not just me, I think every police personnel is proud to be a part of the force. The pandemic revealed the soft and humane side of the police.

'Along with providing what people needed, they even sang songs, made musical parodies to sensitize people, and tried every bit to keep the morale of the people high. Not only humans but the police also took care of animals and birds,' he said.

Chand said the strategy of tackling COVID-19 was to prepare for the coming duties and also ensure the safety of the workforce and their family members.

'Special COVID cells were created within the organization and helpline for various services for the citizens as well as for our staff. Senior officers were made responsible for the control room and standard protocols were devised.

'Emergency vehicles were designated, a helpline for family members, regular briefing and debriefing were done on the protocols and directions of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) as well as the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA),' he said.

Chand said the preparation was a continuous process throughout the four stages --before the lockdown, during the lockdown, the opening of lockdown, and presently when the lockdown is completely lifted.

'Everyday threw multiple challenges of various kinds and nature. The police had a lot of responsibilities, it had to enforce lockdown restrictions, ensure COVID-appropriate behaviour, provide help to those in need and do anything to everything at times,' he said.

He said Delhi was the core centre of all COVID-related activities and all the flights carrying medical supplies and equipment under the 'Udhaan Scheme' were taking off from the city to different parts of the country.

'They were coming from various parts of the country and abroad. Police had to ensure that the vehicular movement for them and the essential services across the country go unobstructed. Police of all the states and especially Delhi Traffic police did a commendable job throughout,' Chand added.

He said the pandemic made the police force adopt many innovative ways of working.

'We tried to minimise the touch and face-to-face interaction and came up with many digital, touch-free alternatives to paper at police stations, traffic duties, etc. These innovations have reduced our response time significantly, making our functioning more efficient.

'Many citizen-centric services were provided with the help of virtual platforms such as apps. It ensured that no one suffers in the absence of such essential service,' he said. PTI UZM TDS TDS TDS