Kolkata police fall back on retired cops

2,000 men will be re-employed to meet staff shortage

 In an unprecedented step, the Kolkata police have decided to hire superannuated police personnel on contract basis for the post of constables to meet staff shortage.

“We are waiting for the government order. We would decide on the mode of selection after it arrives. But we would like to put them on duty as soon as possible,” Additional Commissioner of Police Sudhir Mishra, looking after recruitment, told Deccan Herald over the phone.

The decision in this regard was taken at a cabinet meeting on February 3.
It was decided that apart from superannuated constables the government would also hire retired army personnel for seven categories of posts, including sub-inspectors, dog-handlers and explosives experts and other departments. It was decided 2,000 policemen would be recruited from former staff and retired army personnel. Faced with manpower crunch, the Kolkata Police have also decided to make fresh recruitment of nearly 2,500 young regular constables.

“Advertisements for the post of constables are published and job seekers are plenty,” a senior police officer from Kolkata police said.

The shortage is mainly at the lower level, because recently 10 new traffic guards have been aerated and 17 new police stations have been included in the jurisdiction of Kolkata police. It has thus become impossible to man all the police stations and traffic without any additional forces. 

But the pertinent point is: when there is a dearth of employment in the state the decision to re-employ retired policemen is surprising.

When asked about it a senior police officer at Lalbazar said: “The constable recruitment and training process takes around nine months. We can cut down this deployment time substantially should we go in for retired people since they are familiar with the use of firearms”.   

 The flip side of the new recruitment policy is reflected in the version of another senior police officer. According to him if there is an emergency case it is impossible for the elderly and retired policemen to control the situation. “We need young people if we want to make our force dynamic, mobile and proactive” the office added.

When quizzed if the move was because of the state’s financial bankruptcy, the officer said: “I cannot comment on that but it is true that if recruited on contract basis the liability of the government minimises”.

Those eligible are the retired policemen and army jawans. While policemen retire at 60, jawans are supposed to retire at 35. But jawans usually appear for internal examinations and many continue till the age of 60.

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