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TRAINING STRATEGY TO AFFECT BEHAVIOURAL AND ATTITUDINAL CHANGE IN THE POLICE PERSONNEL

PRAVEEN KUMAR COD, KARNATAKA POLICE, BANGALORE

I begin the paper with the first paragraph of the article, ‘NEED OF ATTITUDINAL CHANGE IN INDIAN POLICE’ from my book “POLICING THE POLICE”, published in 2000. There I said, “The major problem that confronts extant police is its attitude to work, responsibilities, profession, organization, government and the public. It is confounded about its goals, objectives, loyalties, professional ethos, job culture, procedures and practices that carry it forward in the field in attending professional duties. In the wilderness of undefined roads, Indian police grope for perspicacious directions to reach professional ends. Popular phrases like maintenance of order, enforcement of law, prevention of crime, investigation of offences, protection of security interests etc are too generic terms to carry any meaning and significance during the process of actual policing. Perficient policing is possible only in the ambience of well-rounded and clearly defined specific guidelines for action that help moulding professional attitude in the organization. Police develop wrong attitudes in its absence by erroneous interpretation of the situation around. This is what happens to Indian police now: wrong attitudes and concomitant confusion about performing legitimate duties.” Professional ideals of police are rooted in the terra firma of the rule of law, justice, order and the security of the country and its citizens. Police organization is basically responsible to the constitution of the country and the government constituted and the laws enacted in accordance with the constitution. Police lose its relevance to the country when its professional attitude goes against the cardinal ideals of the profession. The challenge of a police organization lies in moulding professional attitude as required by the ideals of the profession. Wrong attitudes inveterate in extant practices and procedures of policing are shaped by self-interests, misconceptions, ignorance and tendency to pursue easy and shortcut methods: they are hard to be broken and survive

2 under most odds. Only efficient, honest and highly motivated leadership alone can crack the etui encompassing it. Once it is done, building a new set of right professional attitudes is relatively a simpler job to a committed leadership. Basic to these efforts is a realization among the top brass about what constitute right and wrong attitudes. The crux of the problem of Indian police lies here. It is distressing to note that the top leadership of post-independent Indian police is responsible for the prevarication of the organization from its professional attitude of absolute commitment to public order and safety, justice and rule of law to easy and shortcut avenues of selfish interests. The change percolated downwards. In the rush of Indians replacing the British to sensitive government positions on the eve of independence, men of inadequate caliber and merit occupied key government posts. This happened in police as in other government departments. The result was corrosion in leadership qualities, traits of excellence and high personal merits, so essential to run public and national affairs at the top. It was during this period that Indian police lost its track in professional policing and exposed itself to the luxury of dancing to the easy and soft tunes of convenience by yielding to pressures of political and other vested interests. Policing powers served as a tool of maximizing self-interests and personal comforts at the cost of professional policing. suffered and police lost its face.
WRONG ATTITUDES APLENTY

In the process, the country

A profession like police naturally has its own goals, objectives and ideals to pursue. They get clouded in the smog of practical turn-arounds in the field and ultimately lose their edge in the spin of attitudinal aberrations. The consequence is clashes of loyalties, adoption of immodest vectors in policing, the issue of excesses and inactions, tendency to bend rules and laws to achieve perceived ends in the hour of need of upholding the rule of law, urge to cash-in on the ignorance and weaknesses of the ignorant people around and indulgences in unprofessional works in the name of discharging legitimate police duties. Performance of any profession depends upon three factors: professional ideals, job culture and actual practices and procedures. Job culture is spawned of constant interaction of professional ideals and actual practices and procedures in the field. Though basically is a product of the past, it considerably affects

3 the future performance of an organization. Practices and procedures being the primary vehicle of attitude, they help moulding job culture a la immanent attitude in the job. The result is a pollent hold of attitude in deciding the direction of an organisation. A profession loses its raison d’etre while attitude in the job prevaricates from professional ideals. People caught in the web of criminal laws deserve sympathy and kindness until they are proved guilty beyond doubts. They need to be treated with gentleness and courtesy that behoves to interpersonal relationship in a civilised society while the process of investigation continues with all efficiency and ruthless exactitude. Police as investigator is not invested with powers to punish for the crimes committed. Fair chance to persons under investigation to prove their innocence goes a long way in unearthing truth and solving crimes justly. This has to be the attitude of the police during crime investigation. Truth and justice have to be their goal. Indian police lack the maturity and poise. A serious Achilles’ heel of Indian police is its perverted attitude towards rules and laws. Bending rules and laws to suit self-interests is one dimension of the spiel. Another dimension is its blind application sans sense of proportion and discreetness while selfinterest is not an issue. It is seen in enforcing laws and maintaining order. Police forget that rules and laws are just tools in the larger cause of peace and order of the society and sadly handle laws for law’s sake. Rules and laws are invested on police like weapons as the dernier ressort while all other avenues are shut. Discreetness is their constraint. Objectives are primary. Rules and laws must follow them only as tools to that end. The realisation is rarely found in the present police. It operates laws for law’s sake by relegating organisational objectives to oblivion. Professional objectives suffer and police become an object of detestation consequential to this perverted attitude. Mechanical enforcement of gratuitous rules and laws constrict the freedom of people for no specific purpose and weaves an unnecessary web of constraints around them for nobody’s good. The attitude is fatal to fair and professional policing practices and needs to be corrected

4 on priority to make application of rules and laws need-based in reaching professional targets. Another field where police need to change its attitude is its contempt for human values. Policing is just an instrument to the cause of protecting human values. Police oblivious to this fact, subject human values to immane policing methods in the name of policing. Third degree methods are the point. Malfeasances do not behove to the cause of human values. Means are as important as ends in policing. Pursuing unjust means for the cause of justice is the spiel of the Frankenstein, the story of an offspring eating its creator. Inviolable commitment to human values and rights is the foundation of good policing. Human touch is sine qua non for professional policing. Human concern is the raison d’etre of good policing. The shift in attitude needs to be from blind and blanket policing for the policing’s sake to discreet and enlightened policing to reach professional objectives. The shift has to be from the use of policing powers to maximise professional goals. The shift must see police taking risks in the interests of the profession and doing intelligent policing rather than indulging in manoeuvres of personal security. The process warrants massive exercise in attitudinal change.
AFFECTING ATTITUDINAL CHANGE

Forcing police away from vicious practices and procedures and undesirable job culture through the attitudinal change is an arduous and time-consuming exercise even for experts in the field. The exercise has to be a multi-pronged attack on inveterate misconceptions and wrong notions in extant policing by extensive exposures to talks, discussions, seminars, briefings, studies, researches and in-service training involving analyses of policing, its ideals, objectives, methods, means and ends, social relevances, pressures, policing environment, psychological aspects of policing etc. The exercise has to be intended to provoke police personnel to think about their profession without dogma and arrive at desirable conclusions about professional policing and impress them on the ingredients of good policing by constant exposure. A few ideal cases as models have tremendous impact on the cause of creating right attitudes. Studies and researches on policing and policing methods provide a sound foundation to these exercises. A police

5 organisation interested in improving its quality and performance cannot go without sound study centres and research projects on the issues of policing. These attempts provide both inputs and insight to the behavioural pattern of the police in field under different situations and stress patterns as differentiated from what are desired. They bring both gestalts to contrast in terms of their perficiency, professional needs and relevance to the environment of policing to affect attitudinal change in right direction by way of conviction. The immediate need is inducing doubts about the soundness of existing attitudes to encourage discussion on the topic. Deliberate guiding through structured mental exercises to desirable end forms the latter part of the task. Indeed, the whole exercise has to be planned and executed in detail by highly efficient leadership in the police. The conundrum is who behoves to handle the highly responsible job while the leadership of the police itself is mired in wrong attitudes to the job of policing.
RIGHT RECRUITMENT

Character is nascitur, non fit. Sound character is the materfamilias of right attitudes. The principium of right training strategy is the realization that character and attitudes cannot be created. Character is an immanent element. Any discussion on right training strategy sans discussion on right recruitment is like building an edifice on sandbed, like watering a dead plant, an exercise in futility, an intellectual wanze. Right training is nothing more than perficient seedling of a seed or precocious flowering of a blossom. It is more so in issues of character, attitude and behavior, the three being entwined into one with character spawning attitude and attitude in its turn defining the behavior. This brings us to the intricate issues of character and character building. The triste state d’ affaire of the Indian police of the post-independent vintage and its degringolade after independence can be attributed tout a fait to this single factor: lack of character. That is recruitment of wrong people, recruitment of people lacking in character, integrity, honesty, human sensibilities, service motive and Rhadamanthine attributes. The corner stone of any perficient training strategy is right recruitment. The emphasis should be on sound character reflecting on integrity, human sensibilities and service motive. This necessitates creation of a character profile of each applicant

6 imprimis in the process of selection and recruitment. Once character is in place, other needs follow by the fundamentum relationis and secondary to the need hierarchy enface crucial character in professional policing. Ability to envision and see things in broader perspective also needs to be tested for final selection. Indeed, practical problems are mind-boggling if not impossible to manage. First of all, drawing the character profile of eligible applicants is easier said than done. It calls for complete overhauling of the extant selection procedures and evolution of psychological processes as the prime mechanism of the selection in place of present highlight on answering abilities. Competence of the present psychological processes in drawing right character profile is another issue. And the ever-presence interference of political and influential lobbies and the greed of the selectors at all levels are the grave hurdles for this process to be feracious.
WARMING-UP PROCESS

The period of initiation is the most important and impressionable period in the career-life of fresh recruits to the police department. The process of warming-up is based on the psychological needs of human nature. New entrants must be handled with utmost care to give them confidence and a feeling of belonging at the incipient stage itself. A sense of confidence and belonging to the organisation and an ingenerate love and respect for the higher–ups are the substruction on which discipline grows. Efforts to inculcate disicipline in a void are like waiting for rain from the autumn sky. Indian police impresarios failed to understand such finer nuances of administration when they copied the system of the British Indian police. And so we now have a police system where discipline is insisted on subordinates sans the conditions requisite for the discipline. The recruits, who enter the fold with open sensibilities and high expectations, wither after braving for a while the brusque and insensitive conduct of their higher ranks. These recruits continue thereafter to be constant enemies of the higher ranks and the department for which they must continue to work for the next three to four decades. A police department constituted of such members, thanks to the shabby approach of the insensitive higher ranks in this most impressioanble period of the former’s carrier-life cannot turn

7 out eximious work. It is a tragedy that India neither spawned a police force of its ain superior values nor copied the police force of the British vintage in its entirety with its finer points, but cultivated instead a burlesque of the rough and mediocre aspects of both.
ACADEMIC TRAINING

It is euphemistic to nuncupate extant Indian police training cap-a-pie as a maelstrom. It is in utter disarray and directionless. Emphasis is on information, which is not a big deal in this age of Internet and competitive marketing of all kinds of information. What is required is blossoming the potential right character, attitudes and requisite skills. This is the field where complete overhauling of the training system is called for. Save the constabulary for which spoon-feeding of the rudimentary criminal laws are must, otherwhere wanze the precious training period on basics while prime issues like character building and behavioral and attitudinal evolutions remain untouched is criminal offence per se. What is required is laying a sound foundation for character building as a powerful base for passions for righteous policing, and motivating the young recruits in that direction. This aspect is completely forgotten in Indian police training now. Basic police training course at all levels should begin with exclusive exposure in the first month to the sine qua non of sound character, integrity, honesty, humility, human sensibilities and the Rhadamanthine attributes as the springboard of the right attitudes in policing. Policemen as the custodians of the rules and laws of the country and the agents of the public sittlichkeit in uniform how stand out from the public must be deeply etched on the young minds to guide them all through their career and light their path with the flambeau of righteousness thus lighted. The need of right public relations and image building in perficient policing cannot be over-emphasised at this stage of the adsorption of the young recruit to the fold of the police setup. The young recruits should be impressed on the importance of means in achieving targets and how malfeasance leads to utter disaster in the end. And also how right policing stands on the bedrock of the human rights.

8 The subjects to be covered during this period of one month at all levels should cover in-depth study of human values and their philosophic foundations, policing philosophy, objectives and ideals of right policing, the locus standi of the police and policing in a democratic setup and the requisites of adjustments with the political and other leaderships and the degrees to which the police should maintain its own space and balance, the place of rules and laws in the overall scheme of the criminal justice system of the country and the shortfalls, the supremacy of the constitution of the country, the true meaning of the loyalty and its extensions in a democratic setup, the field realities of the less than perfect society with which police constantly remains engaged in performing its duties and how to maintain an adjustment mechanism in diverse situations in the overall interests of the peace and security of the society. The period must cover also diverse case studies from the field about the success stories of right character and attitudes in policing and analyses of the inner dynamics therein. Indeed, these are intangible topics lacking suitable textbooks for police studies at all levels now. It means earnest measures towards writing of suitable textbooks to this end for various levels must find priority. While the first month of the academic training exclusively covered the character and attitudinal issues, the remaining period of nine months too should have the subject covered in addition to conventional police subjects. The telos is to build characters that approach policing nec cupias, nec metuas. Here too, case studies from the field about success stories of right character and attitudes must find priority. Other measures during the academic training at all levels must cover recognition and ample rewards for development of right character and attitudes even to the exclusion of talent and technical skills in the training scheme, and right people as the models in the training staff unlike now when it is only unwanted mediocre stuffs are fed to the police training institutions at all levels. Excellent initiatives can do the tricks. There is an instant of a police officer in a police training academy whilom a few years since for a batch of PSI recruit trainees rubbishing his allotted law classes and in place briefing on practical tricks from his field experience about making maximum at the earliest to recoup the bribe paid for obtaining their recruitments. This is ovem lupo committere.

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FIELD TRAINING

Field training is the phase at which an entrant truly comes in contact with the true policing and begins to form his own impression about police and policing in the field. There are any number of instances in police department senior police officers at the eve of their retirement recalling with fondness the contribution of a PC or HC they came in contact at this phase of their career and actually trained them in the intricacies of policing in the field in drawing the road map of their whole career. This is just to map out the significance of this phase of one’s career in policing. A wrong trainer at this stage, and a career wanze. Ergo, it is of paramount importance that only right people in the field should be carefully selected and nominated to assist and train probationers. Any wrong choice will result in irreparable casualties and should be avoided with maximum caution. This principle should be applied to trainers even at higher levels including the district Superintendents. In addition, the district Superintendent should be made statutorily responsible for imparting right and effective training particularly forming right attitudes in those under his charge with mandatory provision for his performance in this regard figuring in his Annual Performance Reports. There should be provisions for removal from service at this stage of the probationary period for failing to develop right attitudes and character even after repeated detailed warnings, indeed with checks and counterchecks in place to avoid misuses.
INSERVICE TRAINING

Repeated exposures to the need of sound character and right attitudes do help in instilling the qualities. A refresher course of five days on character building and right attitudes in police training institutes should be made statutorily mandatory once in every five years at all levels up to the ranks of IGPs. In addition, every promotion up to this rank should be provisional until the concerned official passes a written test on character building and right attitudes conducted by the concerned police training institute.

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RESEARCH ON RIGHT POLICE ATTITUDES

Higher police training institutes should take up research projects on right police attitudes on priority on a continuous basis by partaking the services of both eligible police officers and nonpolice academics from the relevant fields. Every higher police training institute of the country should have an exclusive department for research and producing text books on character and attitudes in relevance to police and policing.
JOB CULTURE

Learning is a continuous process. It is so in police and policing also. All advantages of the right recruitment, right academic training in police training institutes and right field training face serious reif if field realities become inconducive to the ideals. Field realities with their positive and negative elements truly constitute the nidus of the attitudes one is compelled to adopt and adapt. Therefore, field realities of the policing warrant utmost attention in the process of breeding right attitudes in the service. It is only through the right job culture that the police environment in the tide of high morale turns the leaf and policing s’orienter to build up a set of right attitudes among its personnel. It is the sacred responsibility of the top brass of the police to ensure that right means gets precedence over achieving targets somehow. Shortcut methods at the cost of right means should be discouraged. Exitus acta probat should not be the only and ultimate motto of the policing. Right attitude should be amply rewarded in the usual course of the policing. Further, a culture of senior officers briefing their juniors on the need of right character and attitudes in every possible opportunity should be created in the organisation. Repeated stresses do have their own impact particularly in a disciplined organisation like the police. It is just the opposite of what is prolate in Indian police these days. Wrong values are encouraged. Corrupt and caste-ridden elements see vaulting spots. ‘Yes, Minister’ tregetours win the rat-race. Corruption is swept under the carpet on the specious claim that there is a separate organisation to deal with the matter and it is none of the responsibility of the organisation to keep itself clean. For, if one resorts to the cleansing

11 process, he is certain to be unceremoniously kicked out by the political leadership. The situation has reached such a rien ne va plus pass in India that it is often visioned that if an fonctionnaire is overlooked for promotion or transferred to an undesirable post, more than often he is surmised and hailed as a four-square and outstanding person and those who corner desirable posts are looked down upon as part of the coprophagous rot. It is a grave vicious circle. There is no point in discussing right attitude unless this pythogenic vicious circle is broken. Problem of attitude basically is a problem felt at higher wrung in top brass of the force. The stiff hierarchical order and command-obedience pattern of functioning make the lower wrung irrelevant in matters of job attitude. Those down the ladder are loyal followers and obedient operators in the path and policy laid above them. Their attitudes change shape from case to case to meet the demands trickle from above. When the demand is to let out a rich and powerful criminal with royal honours, those down the level do just that with vengeance; when the demand from above is to frame an innocent man and obtain his confession by subjecting to torture, they just do that with dedication for the sake of a well-earned pat of their omniscient superiors. It is again a question of illconceived job culture and attitudes, which need to be corrected, as it is tangible to the standards of policing as all organisational matters are. The primary target of attitudinal change is the higher wrung and the top brass. Others follow and fall to place. The key lies in the realisation that something is wrong in the present mode of policing. Demolition is the beginning of the construction. Once the realisation of wrong dawns upon, reconstruction becomes possible. Police being an extrovert and action-oriented outfit, self-analyses and inward-looking tendencies do not come easily. While things go wrong, introversion becomes sine qua non for healthy growth. This is what is required in Indian police now.