From Force to Service; It has been a wonderful journey

On 11th March 2015, I had singular honour and privilege to be sworn in as the second Inspector General of the National Police Service. On my assumption of office, transformation of the National Police Service into a professional, responsive and accountable law enforcement agency that can be trusted by the people of Kenya was a priority.

Looking back, it has been a worthwhile experience during which we have recorded various successes while drawing lessons from the challenges we encountered during the implementation of the National Police Service transformation agenda. Despite this, our quest to secure our country and offer policing services guided by a high sense of fidelity to the law has kept us going.

My immediate commitment was to build a People Centered Police Service equipped to address the 21st century security challenges. To realise this l embarked on a countrywide tour meeting with police officers at the grassroots explaining the shift in our mandate.

My vision was to lay a firm foundation upon which the people centred policing approach could be built. To achieve this vision, I had to convince our officers on the need to change their mindsets and embrace a service mentality or culture.

This was key because police officers are servants of the people of Kenya and their security needs must form the core of all policing activities at all times. The ultimate aim was to offer quality and timely services to wananchi.

Our transformation agenda was mainly focused on re-casting, re-learning and re-tooling of the National Police Service to enhance its performance.  The main objective was to improve the capacity of the Service to carry out its mandate in a proactive manner as opposed to reactive policing.

In this regard, intelligence-led policing based on the collaborative partnership with members of the communities we serve, was key.  The National Police Service needed to gather information in advance before a breach to security occur. This required creation of strong partnerships between the Kenyan people, the private sector, other security agencies and all actors in the security sector.  

In the ensuing years, this would come to be known as the multi-agency concept that would radically transform our approach to law enforcement and maintenance of security in our country. Over the four years, the multi-agency approach to security management in our country has grown stronger by the day.

The result has been a much calmer security environment that has allowed Kenyans and other investors an opportunity to conduct their businesses thus contributing to the socio-economic development of our nation.

Looking back, we have made significant progress in most of what we set out to do. Transformation of the National Police Service a process that has now been institutionalized through policies, procedures, processes and systems, which are necessary in setting standards in service delivery.

More than 30 new and amended laws, policies and regulations have been developed to assist police officers to do their policing work professionally. We have trained our officers on these laws, policies and regulations so that they are conversant with them so as to apply them appropriately and confidently.

Police logistical mobility was a major challenge in the Service and source of complaints against police. The situation has greatly improved. As of today, 2,720 assorted vehicles have been leased to add onto the formerly existing fleet. Currently, officers on the ground are able to respond faster to emergencies and the public feel more secure. Special purpose motor vehicles have also been procured to enhance the safety and security of our officers during operations.

The National Police Service Airwing has undergone modernisation with additional aircraft in order to offer air support services anywhere in the country as and when need arise.  The Service has also acquired modern boats to enhance maritime security. It is envisaged that this will go a long way in supporting the exploitation of the Blue Economy which stands to contribute immensely to the economic development of our country.

To leverage on technology in crime management, the Integrated Command and Control Centre has been established in Nairobi and Mombasa to facilitate real time police operations. Over 3,800 CCTV cameras have been installed to assist the Service in carrying out its operations. Establishment of a Forensic Laboratory at the DCI headquarters to enhance investigations and analysis of evidence is another milestone that the service is proud of. This will enhance delivery of justice to victims and suspects of crime.

Reforms in police training is another significant change that has occurred in the Service under my watch. A new Basic Training Curriculum is in place aimed at producing officers who are fully prepared to deal with 21st century policing challenges. All promotional courses training curricula have been reviewed and direct entry programmes for specialists will be re-introduced.

In addition to the above, the Service is partnering with the UK Government in training senior police officers in Strategic Leadership and Command at the National Police Service Senior Staff College, Loresho. The UK government will continue supporting this programme for the next five years before the final hand over to the NPS. The ultimate goal is to develop officers who are competent to serve Kenyans in a professional manner.

The reform journey in the Service has changed the NPS into a more unified organisation with common policies and culture. This has prepared the Service well enough to take transformation in the Service to the next level. The new policy framework and strategy on the reorganization of the Service marks the second phase of police reform in the country.

Through this process, we are currently implementing changes that are meant to make the Service more effective, efficient, responsive and accountable to the law and people of Kenya.

We have embarked on re-organisation of the command structure of the Service to make it more efficient with a focus of having a more robust and strengthened general duty police to provide safety and security for the people of Kenya and their property. Strengthened formed/specialized units with capability to combat cattle rustling, banditry, boarder insecurity and protection of critical government infrastructure is another area that we have implemented.

To solve the perennial problem of housing in the Service,  a policy shift from institutional free housing for junior officers to provision of house allowance to all ranks. This will enable us to integrate police officers with the general public through community policing. It is our belief that this will greatly impact on the behaviour of our officers and contribute to greater integrity in the Service.

On matters touching on the individual officers, we made significant tangible progress and managed to achieve a common ranking structure, reviewed and overhauled the recruit basic training curriculum to one that is people centric and up-to date with modern Kenya, created common policies for deployments, promotions, transfers and discipline, created common policy on salaries and remunerations, in-service training and promotion courses and on-going police examinations and a common policy on police welfare, housing, counselling and psychosocial support, chaplaincy and a policy to address the conflict of interest on trade and business by officers.

As my tenure draws to an end and l hand over to my very able successor, it is important to note that the reforms process is on-going and will be a long-term process. The critical initiatives necessary to ensure its success borders on three aspects; More awareness and support from various decision-makers; re-learning and a willingness for change among the men and women in service. Most importantly, enhanced collaboration with citizens through community partnerships is crucial.

I conclude with a special word of appreciation to his Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, for the confidence and trust he showed in nominating me and the support he has accorded over the past four years.  To the Kenyan people and all the other partners and stakeholders who have supported me over the past, l want to say Asante Sana.

I hand over to my successor today; a man l have had the privilege to work with and whom lam confident will serve with great dignity and honor and continue the process of transforming the National Police Service into the service the Kenyan people need and deserve.

It’s time to say Kwaheri. Goodbye. Thank you. God bless the National Police Service and the great people of Kenya.

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