Harvard helps J&K cops shed killer image

From iron fist to velvet glove, Jammu and Kashmir police has come a long way to shun its killer image in the state.

The police have roped in experts from Harvard University to introduce soft skills including negotiation and communication, listening skills, ethics and professional conduct based on a public service mindset.

Conducted by Jim Tull, the training covered ethics in policing and applying soft skills in the context of community-based policing.

This follows the heavy casualties of civilian protestors in the police action against the stone-pelting mobs during the 2010 unrest. The five-month agitation claimed 120 lives, mostly in the security force firing on the stone pelting mobs across the valley.

Around 1,351 CRPF men and 2,660 police personnel suffered injuries from June 11 to September 30, 2010.

About 50 officers from all the districts of Kashmir valley including superintendent of police (SPs), sub-divisional police officers (SDPOs) and station house officers (SHO’s) attended the five day training programme.

These officers have been trained as trainers who will work as Field Training Units and will conduct similar training sessions in all districts of the Kashmir Zone.

“The initiative taken by the Kashmir police to train the soft skills of the officers at the cutting edge level of the police force will be a permanent feature. Policemen are the servants of the people and they have to serve the people with a smiling face,” said SM Sahai, inspector general of Police, in his valedictory address

This training effort is meant to improve the professional ethics and conduct of police officers as they carry out their day-to-day duties.

This initiative will seek to help build a more empathetic and people-friendly police. Each officer trained will focus on improving their soft skills and taking a more empathetic approach towards community

“We hope that the training and the lessons learnt will trickle down to the police station levels so that the communication skills are improved of the policemen who are in direct contact with general public,” said Sahai.

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