'No money for filing a GD, just say thank you with a smile'
Adjacent to the Kotwali Model Police station in Chattogram is a garden housing a “service shed” from where emergency services will be delivered to the public
The boundary wall of the Kotwali Model police station is inscribed with various inviting slogans such as "police are the public, the public is the police."
The wall also has various artworks and the national flag painted on it.
Adjacent to the station is a garden housing a "service shed" from where emergency services will be delivered to the public.
"No money for filing a GD [general diary]; just say thank you with a smile," reads a slogan on a banner hanging from the main building of the police station.
However, a year ago, the place was not so welcoming. Large crowds would gather in the dirty premises, making passersby suffer while trying to cross through the area.
People walking past the station are now charmed by the environment, appreciating the around 60 beautiful artworks and graffiti surrounding the Kotwali police station.
Under the leadership of its Officer-in-Charge Md Mohsin, Kotwali has taken the lead in changing the negative public perception about the police.
Mohsin's first initiative was the "Hello OC" programme, which he launched right after taking charge of the police station. The programme was later introduced in all police stations under the Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP).
The intention behind setting up "Hello OC" booths at different points was to provide instant support to citizens and help build up stronger relationship between the police and the local community.
Inspired by the positive feedback from citizens, the CMP commissioner later launched a "Hello Commissioner" programme.
Torn-down workstations have been renovated to accommodate 24 police officers at a time. New chairs have been brought for service recipients.
Lawyer Asaduzzman, a frequent visitor at the station, said, "I frequently visit Kotwali police station due to its close proximity to the court. But I did not see this version of the station before. It has been completely transformed."
Irfanul Alam, a resident of Firingibazar near the police station, said he would usually avoid walking by the police station because it was very dirty and always crowded.
"But now we have chats beside the police station. Now the Kotwali police station has become a role model for other police stations."
OC Md Mohsin said Kotwali police have been working to turn the words "police are friends of people" into reality.
"We have set up a service shed from where we will deliver emergency services. Slogans on independence, history and policing have been written on the boundary wall. We expect visitors to get a positive perception about the police through this initiative."