Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 11

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. In the process, the country
suffered and police lost its face.

WRONG ATTITUDES APLENTY


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 self-
interest 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 sand-
bed, 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.
9

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.
10

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 ill-
conceived 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.