THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Reeling under criticism for not being able to prevent criminal incidents happening across the state, the police department is toying with the idea of having two Station House Officers (SHO) in each police station to improve the efficiency of the department and to reduce the burden faced by incumbent SHOs. Currently, each police station has a SHO, who is of the rank of an inspector.
The new proposal was floated during the meeting of the ADGPs last week. It was observed that SHOs are under stress as they do not get any days off and it was imperative that they are given a day off every week. The spurt in criminal cases and allegations against the police have also prompted the top brass to have a relook into the functioning of the police stations. The health aspects of the officers also were held as a reason for proposing the appointment of additional SHO. The discussion of the senior officers opined that many of the SHOs had health issues, including diabetes and hypertension, and hence they ought to be given weekly off.
Currently, the police in several states, including Delhi, have the practice of having two SHOs in each station -- one the actual SHO and the other one an acting SHO, who assumes charge during nighttime and also when the actual SHO is absent.
Earlier, the sub-inspectors had functioned as SHOs. But this practice was changed during the tenure of former State Police Chief Loknath Behera, who made Circle Inspectors as SHOs. However, this decision came under radar after the effectiveness of police in curbing crimes was highly criticised. Within the police department too, there were dissenting notes. The main reason for opposing the decision was that the inspectors hitherto had a supervisory role and by appointing them as SHOs their role was getting limited.