NAIROBI, Jan 23— The national police will for the first time in history acquire armoured personnel carriers to increase their mobility and protective gear when deployed to volatile areas, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
He said the purchase of the armoured personnel carriers is a very important milestone as it will go a long way in securing the frontier areas of the country.
“You don’t have to depend on the military or other security agents for you to perform your duties, we will ensure you are properly equipped,” said the President.
The President was speaking on Saturday when he presided over the closing ceremony of the three-day Inspector General’s Conference at the Police Pavilion grounds, South C.
The conference whose aim is to review the challenges and achievements of the force in the past one year brought together regional Coordinators, County and Formation Commanders and other senior officers from the National Police Service Headquarters.
The President said in order to improve efficiency of the police force, there is need to empower it with modern equipment to enable it to respond quickly and more effective to the current security challenges.
The President said the government has improved transport for the force and 2,220 assorted vehicles have been provided through a lease arrangement which has more than doubled police visibility on the ground.
He said the Government is equally modernizing the Police Air Wing to improve air support capacity.
“As of today, two MI 17 Helicopter troop carriers have been taken in for complete overhaul, while a new helicopter has been procured, and will be arriving in the country in the next few weeks,” said the President.
The President said he anticipates by June this year the police force will have the two new helicopters, and three refurbished units in place so as to improve the ability to quickly move troops to any trouble spot within the country.
On the welfare of police officers, President Kenyatta said his government is holding discussions with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission with a view of ensuring police officers are properly housed, kitted and commensurately remunerated.
“On the issue of remuneration I want to assure you that we are working with SRC and they are clear that police just like the military should all go on the four year review so that everybody is paid and knows when is the review coming and on what basis is it being done,” he said.
The President however challenged the force commanders to seek to remove few bad elements within the force who have made the public have wrong perceptions on them.
“As we work to enhance your welfare, I also want commitment from you. It cannot be that the police are going to be dimmed year after year that this is the most corrupt, the vile institution when it comes to public perception,” said the President.
Other speakers included Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs Sicily Kariuki, Principal Secretary for Interior Karanja Kibicho, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and the Chairman of the National Police Service Commission Johnstone Kavuludi.