KPOA meets with independent panel to assess workplace stress
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KPOA meets with independent panel to assess workplace stress

KPOA meets with independent panel to assess workplace stress

Deputy Inspector General Ernakulam Range Putta Vimaladitya inaugurates KPOA meeting in Aluva. | Photo Source: Special Arrangement

The Ernakulam Rural district meeting of the Kerala Police Officers’ Association (KPOA) has called for the setting up of an independent committee to take a realistic look at the increasing number of suicides by police officers and the growing queue of officers opting for voluntary retirement.

The resolution passed in this regard said 91 of the around 148 officers who opted for voluntary retirement were sub-inspectors or assistant sub-inspectors above the age of 50, which it said was an indication of workplace stress among the officers.

Earlier, Ernakulam Range Deputy Inspector General Putta Vimaladitya inaugurated the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, he observed that the workload of the police has increased over the years. Discussions need to be held on how to deal with it. Mr. Vimaladitya said that efforts will be made to make available the services of more police personnel in the district.

The resolution said there was serious internal pressure in the force and that at least some were unable to overcome it. Many were struggling with family issues and were being driven to the brink of depression due to lack of rest, inflexible working hours, inexperience and the potentially exploitative nature of the hierarchical relationship between senior and junior officers. “While some senior officers like District Police Chief (Ernakulam Rural) Vaibhav Saxena maintain cordial relations with their officers, at least some senior officers do not follow the democratic way of listening to their subordinates and ignore the potential of organisational interaction,” the resolution said.

Women police officers are crucial, given the rising crimes against women and children, and various law and order-related duties and projects like Janamaithri police, pink police, women’s welfare office, women’s safety programmes and senior citizen-friendly police. However, there is a shortage of women police officers. The meeting called for increasing the quota of women in the police force to 15% and setting up a special police station for women headed by a woman inspector within the limits of the rural police.

A separate police force should be maintained for VVIP and VIP duties at the Kochi airport. A VIP control room consisting of a company of Kerala Armed Police should be set up at the airport.

The meeting lamented that most hospitals supporting Medisep, the state government’s comprehensive health insurance program for government employees and retirees, have not extended coverage to cover all diseases. Moreover, several large hospitals remain outside the program’s scope. The meeting called for improving the program’s effectiveness by addressing these shortcomings.

Mr. Saxena, who was the chief guest, said that artificial intelligence will be widely used in the police in near future. The chairman was the district president of the association J. Shaji Mon.