Kannada, English, Hindi, or Telugu? It is never easy for the police control room staff to predict what language the next caller will speak in. This is why they are now being trained to deal with the needs of a cosmopolitan city.
Over 100 personnel manning the city police control room and the social monitoring cell are being trained in soft skills and etiquette for communicating with callers and handling different situations verbally. The control room and the newly set up social monitoring cell at the Commissioner’s office receive over 15,000 calls per day and a majority of the callers speak in English.
Though the control room staff are qualified, their communication skills need to be upgraded, Nagendra Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Command Centre, told The Hindu . “If the staff are trained to communicate in formal English, half the problem could be resolved on the spot,” he said.
Bengaluru-based communication expert Prakurthi N. Banwasi, who is conducting the three-week crash course which began this week, said the staff were confronted with all sorts of callers. “It is natural for an officer to interact with anti-social elements and have that impact in his or her behaviour when they are dealing with other people,” he said. This training is aimed at helping them differentiate between talking to different people and handling situations accordingly.
Through the training, the staff are being taught how to keep calm while also providing counselling and assurance to callers, who are usually tensed and disturbed, and even abusive at times. A calm and composed conversation with such callers would not only help identify the problem quickly, but also aid in follow- up, Mr. Banwasi said.
The training also focuses on the staff of the social monitoring cell to communicate effectively through writing. The programme will also be extended to new recruits who are joining the service, Mr. Kumar said.