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Friends of Police FOP 
ByJoseph   posted on01 May, 12 4777 Views 0 Comments Special Feature Add to favorite

Every day we are flooded with information regarding excessive use of force by police leading to rough treatment, severe beatings, unjustified shootings and fatal encounters. The opportunities for abuse of power could be due to the existence of officers with long records of abuse, policies that are overly vague, training that is substandard, and screening that is inadequate. Incidents of police brutality and abuse are not new to India. But what is alarming is the acceptance of what was once perceived as an anomaly, as something that is vogue. In short, there is a silently accepted norm that law and order could be established only with the cruel face of the police.

But fortunately there is a high ranking police officer who thinks otherwise and has proved it by his own track record during his illustrious career. Dr. Prateep V. Philip, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) – Crime, Tamil Nadu, India, has offered an innovative, holistic and comprehensive solution with his Friends of Police (FOP) movement that connects people and police at their best.

Friends of Police

The Friends of Police is a concept developed by Dr. Prateep way back in 1993 in Ramanathapuram District when he was the Superintendent of Police there. The idea was to establish a cordial relationship and build a bridge between the police and the public through Friends of Police. The very concept tends to plant an attitude of friendship towards the Police in the minds of the citizens as well as friendship towards the citizens in the minds of the Police.

The Political Will

Obtaining the political will was crucial to the growth of the concept all over the state of Tamil Nadu.

Taking into consideration the innovation of the concept and its potential in improving the law and order situation in Tamil Nadu, The government of Tamil Nadu decided to extend the FOP Movement to the entire state by a Government Order in September, 1994. The intelligence Chief and Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu, endorsed the concept and the movement since it effectively created and Citizens’ Intelligence Network. As a result, District Chiefs and commissioners of Police all over the state initiated FOP in their respective jurisdiction. This sowed the seeds of FOP all over the state of Tamil Nadu and the movement enjoyed varied degrees of growth depending upon the interest effused by the local police officers and personnel.

The Instant Popularity

The movement grew out of more than a decade of effort, experimentation and study. Hundreds of individuals,teams, organizations, media representatives and officers of various ranks contributed to and supported the movement from the development phase. Representatives of the press helped to popularize the concept. An FOP students’ wind was set up in schools and colleges. Several delegations from Kenya, the UK, the USA and China visited the FOP Centre met with Friends of Police in action.

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