Sanjay Barve, a senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer from the 1987 batch, took charge as Mumbai's new police commissioner on Thursday. As his first task, he assured Mumbai and Mumbaikars that they were safe amid the on-going tension between India and Pakistan, but emphasized the need to stay alert and report suspicious persons or activity.
Barve replaces IPS officer Subodh Jaiswal, who is now Maharashtra's Director General of Police (DGP). Barve's post as Director General of Anti Corruption Bureau will be filled by IPS officer Param Bir Singh.
Barve was part of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that investigated Abdul Karim Telgi's multi-crore fake stamp paper scam. He was awarded the President's Police Medal in 2006. He was also posted as Assistant
Superintendent of Police in naxal-infested Gadchiroli district and served as deputy commissioner of police in various zones within Mumbai. He also did a stint as District Commissioner of Police with the Economic Offences Wing and was joint commissioner of police (Traffic). He was also police commissioner of Solapur for a brief period and played a key role in the development of Mumbai Police Gymkhana at Marine Drive. The soft-spoken yet strict officer has also served in the state intelligence department and is set to retire in August.
One of the biggest professional achievements to his credit is maintaining of communal harmony when 11 dalits were killed in police firing in 1997 after Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's statue was disfigured at Ramabhai Ambedkar colony in Ghatkopar (East).
"We are a professional force," he said, while talking about the challenges and priorities of his new role, "Our priority is safety and security of city and citizens, controlling crime, cyber and economic crime, and efficiently maintaining law and order."
He also cleared the air about co-ordination with other police agencies. "The perception that we (the Mumbai Police) are different from Maharashtra police or ATS, is wrong," said Barve. "We are the same policemen working in different wings and departments. The ultimate aim for all of us is to secure, city, state and country."