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Whatsapp guys, police commissioner tells cops

Wednesday, 5 March 2014 - 10:41am IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

Issues order to use mobile app for communication during investigation

While the effective use of social media can help in policing is no doubt but in a first-ever move of its kind, the Pune police commissioner has asked his team to get savvy with mobile application.
Considering the importance of mobile messaging application WhatsApp, Pune police commissioner Gulabrao Pol has asked all his officers to use the application effectively during investigations for internal communications.
However, the police officers have been using the application to pass crucial information and photographs much before the order was passed. It has also solved some cases in the recent past using the application.
The decision was taken after Hadapsar police managed to trace out a missing boy by using the application. Following which, the commissioner issued an order to all his subordinates to use the application at the police station level.
In his application, Pol said that the application is useful and thus it can be used for passing information during investigation. He has asked all police station senior police inspectors that they should introduce the application among the police station in-charge (Thane Amaldar) for searching a missing person.
Interestingly, before the commissioner's order, some of the deputy commissioner of police (DCP)-ranked officers already formed groups and started using the applications for investigation.
These officers are connected with senior inspectors attached to police stations in their respective zones. The officers said that the aim is to enhance communication between senior officials and subordinates quickly at one go.
Welcoming the move of commissioner, DCP (Zone II) Shirish Sardeshpande told dna, "The wireless (walki-talkie) has its limitation. Whereas the cellphone application is available with every officer. This helps the senior officers to send out orders immediately. Besides, its a group messaging application and helps in emergency situations."
Sardeshpande said that the messaging system also helps in getting transparency in the work. "An information about untoward incident which has the potential to spread to other areas can be provided to other zones in the city. As a result, the situation can be controlled immediately."
Sardeshpande said that since officers of the rank of inspector and above are members of the group, it helps to understand the working of a police station better.
Some of the senior officers are of the opinion that it would also help seniors keep an eye on junior officers as it shows when a message was delivered and when it was read by the intended recipient.

Previous successes
The Dattawadi police had arrested a security guard and rescued a four-year-old boy who was kidnapped by him. The police had passed information to Satara police and accordingly had solved the case within 12 hours.
The Hadapsar police found a missing boy by circulating his boy photo on the application, thus solving the case

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