NAIROBI, Kenya, May 15 – Police will now be able to relay videos and pictures while at a crime scene once the Sh15 billion communication, command and control system is rolled out by December.
Once in place, police will be issued with new walkie-talkies fitted with a camera and other advanced security features.
The new system cannot be infiltrated, its better manned and will enhance real-time security once rolled out, according to Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku.
“A key component of modernisation programme is the issue of communication surveillance, command and control centre in the issues of policing,” he stated.
“This is a culmination of a long process with an ultimate goal of addressing security. We cannot wait to see this project fully implemented.”
Lenku said the new system will be controlled from the Jogoo House command centre where all police officers can be tracked while undertaking their duties.
“All police officers shall be involved…including those who recently graduated so that we can be able to match the skills of technology and right practicing policies; to be able to execute the task at hand,” he said.
In case a police officer is under attack or needs reinforcement, the officer will just need to press a distress button and automatically the walkie-talkie will send a video to the command centre showing how the situation is.
A total of 7,600 police officers can be served at a go but it will be scaled to 50,000 officers later on.
The new system is being rolled out by Safaricom in a Sh15 billion tender that Lenku says was procured following necessary regulations.
It will first be implemented in Nairobi and Mombasa with over 1,000 cameras set to be fitted in strategic positions.
The system uses three high definition cameras; infra-red camera, box camera and dome cameras.
The dome camera can cover a 360 degree area while the infra-red camera will have ability to capture images in low light areas.
Police will easily track lost vehicles or one which has been used to commit crime due to number plate recognition.
Police are just required to feed the system with the car details and every time it passes an area fitted with the cameras, an alert will go to the command system.
Under the new system there will be clusters formed in which junior officers can address their boss. Every member of the cluster is set to get any ongoing communication.
Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore explained that the service will strictly be accessed by the National Police Service, while dispelling fears of hacking.
Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo said as crime continues getting sophisticated, technology remains key. He said this was part of a wider digitization plan of the police service even in recording keeping.
Other than the new system, the police service has a portal dubbed Usalama Watch where one can upload photos and videos.