Thereupon, a number of States have introduced the Police Commissioner system for better and effective maintenance of law and order, prevention and detection of crimes and regulation of traffic.
The working of Police Commissioner system in Madras, Bombay, Calcutta and Delhi for the past several decades has shown that functional autonomy leads to prompt and coordinated police action whereas the earlier duality of control by District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police adversely affected the general law and order condition of the States.
In large urban areas, several problems arising out of social tensions, greater opportunities for occurrence of crime and frequent spontaneous explosion of law and order situations call for an extremely quick response from the police at the operational level and prompt directions from the superior levels. This can be achieved only when the police are organised in a unitary chain of command which embraces the two basic functions of decision making and implementation.
In the Police Commissioner system, a senior experienced and a mature police officer is directly incharge of policing and has complete authority over his force and is functionally autonomous. He is directly accountable to the Government. Under the system, the public has not to run to two different authorities i.e. District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police, to process their application for licences, permits etc. This avoids delay and inconvenience to public.
The major hurdle in appointment of Police Commissioners is perhaps the opposition from the so called IAS lobby which apprehends that such appointments would result into deprivation of their magisterial power which would be a great blow to their prestige and authority.
But this apprehension seems to be rather misconceived as it will enable the police administration to take on-the-spot decisions without having to wait for the orders from the District Magistrate who may or may not be readily available at the time when the situation is tense and warrants prompt action. The conferment of magisterial powers on Police Commissioner brings efficiency in prevention and detection of crime and maintenance of law and order in major cities.