Gears to guns: Tamil Nadu cop who dropped software job to become police officer

E Sathish Kumar, a mechanical engineer-turned-police officer, recently won the DGP Sword for best cadet from the CM l    It has been his childhood dream to join the force and now he wishes to spe

CHENNAI: Many would hesitate before shifting gears and taking up an entirely new profession. Not, 27-year-old E Sathish Kumar. He won the DGP Sword for best cadet from the Chief Minister recently. A mechanical engineering graduate, he decided to quit a well-paying software job to become a police officer. His score in the state public service commission exams allowed him to choose the revenue service. But he chose to join the police force and is now a Deputy Superintendent of Police, who will be posted for training in Nagapattinam. “My inspiration was my friend, Saravanan’s father Balakrishnan, who was a police officer. This has been my childhood dream,” he says. Sathish walks down memory lane and shares why he made this choice. Excerpts Follow.

Photo: Ashwin Prasath
Photo: Ashwin Prasath

From a mechanical engineer to police officer. Why did you make the shift?

Just like any other college student, I would find every excuse in the book to bunk classes, and would scrap the barrel when it came to marks. I am a graduate in Mechanical Engineering from College of Engineering, Guindy.

During placements, I gave interviews for software companies but because of my poor marks, I got placed in a company with a package of `3 lakh per annum. My father would tell my relatives that I was working in a core company drawing a package of `6 lakh per annum. I didn’t know about it. However, one day, when I heard this I felt guilty. I decided that I had to follow my dreams and take up the Group 1 exams of Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission. I came down to Chennai from Namakkal to prepare for the exams. My friend Kakkum Perumal guided me in pursuing my dreams.

Despite being eligible to become a deputy collector, you chose to don the Khaki. In my first attempt in 2016, I stood state second in Group 1. But I couldn’t get in because of the reservations. That didn’t affect me as my goal was clear — to become a police officer. I rewrote the exam and then got state 7th rank. I also met ADGP Jaffar Sait who shared his experience. That fuelled my dreams. I joined the academy and underwent training.

Tell us about your training.

It was rigorous but the love for the job kept me going. We were a lucky batch as we had a chance to meet senior police officers who shared their stories. I had wonderful batchmates, Vinoth and my friend Saravanan, who kept motivating me and pointed out my strengths which helped me excel in all my training sessions. 

What are your thoughts on aspirants from other districts and hinterlands?

There is a perception among rural community that only students from well-known colleges can appear for competitive exams. Most of them restrict themselves due to their inferiority complex. Personally, I have witnessed many students from rural background achieve in this field. They just lack the guidance and motivation. 

Do wish to excel in any specific area in the police department?

Currently, cyber crime cases are on the rise and since the government is working on the digital India programme, the number of victims falling prey to phishing and other online rackets are more. Hence, I wish to specialise in cyber crime.

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