The Mumbai police Twitter account is one such account that has gained immense popularity for its creative and coolest posts in the last few years. Taking inspiration from social media, Mumbai police has now come out with a very unique idea, this time to be accomplished on the ground to fight the ongoing pandemic. Mumbai police in its bid to curb the increasing COVID-19 infections in the state is empowering civilians from the city by appointing them as special police officers, who will assist them in controlling the law and order situation at containment zones and sealed buildings.

According to various sources, the police department so far has appointed around 1,100 civilians as special police officers, who would help the Mumbai police make people follow the COVID-19 guidelines issued by the state.

Can Mumbai police appoint civilians?

The Mumbai police under emergency situations can appoint civilians mentioning the duration of their service, under Sections 21 (1) (2) (B) of the Maharashtra Police Act, 1951. As per the rules, the police while appointing civilians have to issue certificates of appointment, in which the duration of their service has to be specially mentioned.

The police is allowed to appoint civilians as special police officers under extraordinary circumstances. The COVID-19 pandemic has made Mumbai police reach a point where they need such additional help and therefore such appointment of civilians as special officers is being made.

While issuing the appointment letters to the civilians, the Mumbai police is making sure that the power should not be misused by any special police officer, and that is why they are checking the civilians’ history before their appointment. If any case is registered against the person, then he/she will not be given the responsibility.

Will this help?

By appointing civilians as special officers, Mumbai police is trying to ensure that people do not step out of their residential premises and stay at home. By making use of special officers, the police department can depute their staff to other locations where the situations are quite serious and require more urgent attention.

More than 8,00 constables till now are appointed to guard the containment zones and the entry and exit of people from sealed residential buildings. Apart from this, the special officers will have the authority to stop people, in case any violation of the COVID restrictions happens. The officers will look after the areas allotted to them and will ensure that the shops are closed in order to contain the spread of the virus.

These special officers will also help people in different areas buy groceries and other essential commodities. The service of these special police officers is voluntary and the police department is taking consent from the person before his/her appointment.