By Sanjay Pahwa, Chandigarh As per the directions of the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, the Punjab government will soon sign a MoU with John Jay College of Criminal Justice New York to initiate a Police training programme as a part of police reforms in the state. Disclosing this here today the Principal Secretary Home Mr. DS Bains informed that the a visiting team of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the City University of New York had proposed a two-way interaction programme to be started between the police forces of New York State and Punjab, under which 5 to 10 high-ranking Police officers from Punjab would get one week training in New York and a team of 5 officers with different areas of expertise would visit Punjab in the first phase. The main aim of this joint venture would be to train the police personals to motivate our Police force to perform better, said Mr. Bains. During a de-briefing session held at the Punjab Bhawan today, Dr. Maria Haberfeld, the Leader of the US Team said that during her visit to Police Training Colleges Phillaur and Jahan Khelan training institution, she was impressed with the quality of training being imparted, whereas the facilities could be improved. She further suggested that new topics like manpower management, resource management, leadership development, and better deployment of the force to be introduced in the Police training syllabus to enhance the skill and performance of our police force. She also said that the Police force in the State was severely under-staffed and it needs a system for recognizing and rewarding good work so as to motivate the delivery system.
Expressing concern over the long duty sometimes even 14 -16 hours a day, she said that perspective planning for shift work could resolve this problem. The criminal justice system had a direct impact upon the effectiveness of policing and long period spent by the Courts in deciding cases had a deleterious effect, since a criminal was not deterred by the fear of quick conviction, said Dr. Maria. The Team had discussions with the Judges in the districts and it found that the same judges were hearing criminal and civil cases, besides marriage disputes. No guidelines or priorities were clear and she suggested that specialized courts should be set up for different kind of work, and better time management would resolve the problem of large-scale pendency of high-priority and important cases.
As far as the reform of prisoners was concerned, the Team found that the prison management system was functioning satisfactorily. The Team noted that on the job training was an important measure to rehabilitate convicts in society after they were released and it was hoped that more funds would be pumped into this aspect. Dr. Maria stated that the Prison system in the USA was privatized to some extent and the same could be considered in Punjab also. The Principal Secretary Home, Mr D.S.Bains stated that he had advised the visiting Team to prepare modules for training which would be useful for officers of Punjab police visiting New York and similarly training modules could be deployed for the team of John Jay College which visits Punjab. He appreciated the concept of templates in which a check-list is provided to the Police officers for investigating crime and especially the steps required to be taken when they arrive at the scene of crime.
Mr. Bains hoped that this two-way training process would improve the already efficient Punjab Police and also create better results in the force which is already credited with achievement of stipulated targets with ease. He expressed pleasure that the visiting Team had found the State Police force to be effective, motivated and competent. It may be recalled that the Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Badal had visited New York, seen the College and advised them to send a Team for studying Punjab Police to improve its expertise in the following Departments – Computer Information Systems in Criminal Justice and Public Administration, Correctional Studies, Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Administration and Planning, Criminology, Culture and Deviance Studies, Forensic Psychology, Forensic Science, Gender Studies, International Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, Police Studies, Security Management etc.
It may be mentioned here that the visting US team comprising Dr. Maria Haberfeld, Professor and Chair, Department of Law, Police Science, and Criminal Justice Administration, John Jay College, the City University of New York, Mr. Michael Walker, Mr. Robert Thursland and Mr. William Fraher had visited various places in Punjab, met top-ranking officers, interacted with trainees at Police Training College at Phillaur and Jahan Khelan, observed the functioning of Police at the grassroot levels in urban and rural areas, besides visiting subordinate courts and some Jails also.