of Shri Jalad Kumar Tripathy, an officer of Indian Police Service of 1985 batch belonging to Tamilnadu cadre, as Director General of Polce (Law and Order) of the State on 29th June 2019 constitutes a momentous event marking celebration of professional excellence combined with high standards service, probity and integrity. In getting elevated to the apex post of police establishment of Tamilnadu by sheer merit, talent, expertise and hard work he has proved his credentials as a worthy cop in ample measure. His toughness as a cop is coextensive with his humanity and his demeanor is an index of the combined spirit of robustness and empathy. This crowning achievement of Jalad is indeed fascinating, inspiring and worthy of reflection and analysis.
He has a distinguished record of service and is a recipient of several prestigious national and international awards which no other IPS officer of our country can boast of. He is the first IPS Officer of our country to have been conferred with the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Public Administration on Civil Service Day by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. That high honour was conferred on him for his pioneering contributions for introducing community policing in Tiruchirapally. Going beyond the command and control system of police set up he as Deputy Inspector General of Police interacted with constables and reached out to people to inspire confidence among them and generate their trust in favour of police.
He sensitized people to approach police to get their ration cards, or search for a mason, plumber or other skilled or semi skilled workers for getting their work done at home. It helped people to get assured by police that they would not be cheated by such skilled or semi skilled workers who are often drafted for doing numerous works in the domestic and other spheres.
The innovative ideas embodied in his schemes such as "Beat Officers", ""Slum Adoption" and ""Complaint Boxes" bridged the gulf between people and police and made him an exponent and practitioner of Mahatma Gandhi's idea that police in India should act as social reformers. The idea of community policing which he put into operation has in it Mahatma Gandhi's vision that police should act as friends and guides of people. The slum people who were skeptical and in fact fearful of seeing a police station being established in their areas eventually were persuaded to believe in the community policing envisioned by Jalad and reposed their trust and faith in it.
Such an endearing approach which made policing people friendly remain at the heart of police reform which is being tried to be implemented for so many decades through Commissions and Supreme Court pronouncements. Jalad's community policing caught the imagination of people and important circles in the architecture of governance took note of it. None other than President of India Shrimati Pratibha Patil in her address to the Parliament in 2008 stressed on adoption of community policing across the country. What Jalad did in Trichy got echoed in the articulations of President of India and his signature work acquired national significance.
His name and fame as an efficient, effective and innovative cop anchored on values of service, rectitude and integrity earned him laurels beyond the frontiers of India. It was evident from his winning the gold medal for "Innovation in Governance" from the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management located in Scotland. It was followed by another very prestigious award, the International Community Policing Award’ from the Washington based International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Such extraordinary recognition both nationally and internationally put Jalad in an exalted position and many leading organisations and institutions invited him to share his ideas as an innovator. He brought rare prestige and dignity to any post he occupied and his present appointment as Director General of Police (Law and Order) Tamilnadu would make huge value addition to that high office.
A bright product of Jawaharlal Nehru University where Jalad did his MA in political science during 1979-8. He passed out with flying colours and had the enviable standing as a topper. While pursuing M.Phil in JNU he cleared civil services examination. He was well regarded not only for his academic excellence but also for his humanity, civility, decency and winsome approach. Initially he entered into Indian Information Service and had a stint for a few years as an officer of that allied Service. Later he got into Indian Police Service and accepted the challenges to perform a new role as a cop and scale new heights by proving his worh. It was a long and arduous journey from a young IPS probationer in 1985 to Director General of Police in 2019. The broad spectrum of duties he had to perform and the pioneering work he did in giving new depth and dimension to policing stood him out as a role model of a cop in our country.
The wide range of responsibilities he handled in his long and eventful career included his stint as Superintendent of Police in nine districts. Besides, he handled many sensitive postings including Commissioner of Chennai Police which fetched him cheers from those who admired his effective and clean policing. The way he could rescue a child from kidnappers in a record time in Chennai and hand her over to her parents commanded admiration from all quarters.
Sardar Ballhavbhai Patel who laid the foundation of civil service including Indian Police Service in independent India had wanted Indians to join police to build their careers and serve people, society and nation and reconstruct our society on the basis of values of freedom struggle. He envisaged a police force free from caste and communal prejudices and ardently desired that it should be imbued with sense love and understanding for people for upholding peace, safety, security and law and order for the purpose of building modern India. He particularly stressed on service dimension of police force to make it people friendly and reform oriented. Jalad is such a police officer who has modeled himself in the vision of Sardar Patel, hailed as the Iron Man of India who unified our country. Let Jalad's services as Director General of Police of Tamilnadu enrich the method of policing informed by high standard of excellence, spirit of reform and values of compassion.
.The author served as Officer on Special Duty and Press Secretary to President of India and had a tenure as Director in Prime Minister’s Office and Joint Secretary in Rajya Sabha Secretariat.The views expressed in the article are in his personal capacity.