The recent COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened and accelerated the need of Police to get involved in aspects other than personal security. Examine.
The ongoing health crisis due to COVID 19, coupled with the nationwide lockdown and economic hardships, has created a unique law and order challenge. So, Police which is one of the frontline responders to the pandemic often has to go beyond its call of duty.
Need of police during pandemic
Monitoring and Enforcement:
o Providing temporary quarantine and enforcing home quarantine, social distancing. For Ex. Kasaragode Police followed ‘triple-lock’ strategy in which police used traditional methods like barricades to restrict movement, human surveillance and app-based tracing and delivery of essentials and medicines.
o Capacities nurtured over the years like Call Detail Records (CDR Analysis) of the mobile phones of the affected people, along with other cyber forensic tools have been used by the police to trace the contacts from affected persons.
o Ensuring widespread use of masks and facilitating their distribution.
o Spreading information through various platforms like social media, speakers and dispelling misinformation. Ex: road paintings or coronavirus shaped helmets were used to spread awareness and to show the importance of hygiene.
• Supply chain management: o Issuing e-passes to allow smooth movement of supplies.
o Using police control room (PCR) vans to facilitate last-mile delivery.
o Support local authorities in transport of stranded migrant workers to community spaces, government schools set up as temporary shelters.
o Distribution of food, disinfecting transportation vehicles, ensuring social distancing at stations etc. • Reopening industries:
o Facilitate resumption of all kinds of work like construction, agriculture or manufacturing.
o Support local authorities in conducting spot checks at work sites and enlist the support of Reserve Forces, Home Guards, National Cadet Corps, and other defence or policing forces to manage social distancing and hygiene when work resumes at sites.
• Police Health: Keeping older personnel away from frontline, plan for rotational shifts, maintaining quarantines for sick personnel and procuring and maintaining Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in adequate quantities, including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer.
Pandemic has strengthened the need for more collaborative ways of working and partnerships within and across the public and private sectors, moving towards a more inclusive approach that embeds societal responsibility.
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