Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet’s appointment in 2015 brought with it a new dawn in the National Police Service (NPS).
Over the last four years, Boinnet has led the NPS in a transformation that saw him achieve many milestones.
Open Door policy
For the first time in history, police established an open door policy where members of the public can interrogate the manner in which police operate at every level.
To achieve this, the Boinnet embarked on countrywide tours of Police Stations, Police Posts, Patrol bases and areas under active security operations such as the Boni enclave to sensitize Police Officers on the new order of doing things, in strict fidelity to the law.
This improved public perception towards Police Officers and created a good working relationship between them and members of the public, leading to a reduction in crime levels.
Life insurance for officers
To enable officers to perform their duties without undue distraction, the service introduced a Group Life Insurance Cover for those maimed or die in the line of duty.
The service also introduced a Comprehensive Medical Scheme covering both inpatient and out-patient services in a wide range of modern medical facilities for officers and their families to seek medical attention when need so arises.
As part of the efforts to improve working conditions, officers were also allowed to rent houses privately through the facilitation of house allowances.
Officers were previously living in police housing units, most of which are overcrowded and in a deplorable state unfit for human habitation.
The re organisation of NPS also featured the change in the police uniforms which sparked nationwide reactions.
The change of the General Duty Police uniforms to a more friendlier deep blue shade as well as rebranding and renaming of Police Training institutions were aimed at making the service more efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of Kenyans.
The Kenya Police College –Kiganjo was renamed to National Police College Kiganjo Campus to train General Duty Police Officers. Former Administration Police Training College was renamed to National Police College Embakasi A Campus to train RDU, CIPU, ASTU and BPU recruits.
The GSU Training School was rebranded to National Police College Embakasi B Campus to train GSU recruits, Senior Staff College Loresho to National Police Service Senior Staff College Loresho Campus to train senior officers, GSU Training School in Magadi to National Police Service College Magadi Field Campus for tactical GSU training while the Border Police Training School was renamed to the National Police Service Border Police Training Campus for tactical BPU, CIPU, ASTU and RDU tactical training.
New police training curriculum
The renaming and rebranding of the schools also came with a new curriculum for training recruits, aimed at imparting officers with modern skills in dealing with the ever-changing security dynamics.
The last two cohorts of graduates from the various training institutions have been instructed and mentored using the new curriculum as the basis of instruction.
Digitization of police work
In January, the Boinnet directed all county commissioners to prepare officers under their jurisdiction for a new digital migration.
Details of the changes that are expected include; the personnel management, administrative systems, processes and also the system of filling in the Occurrence Book (OB).
Police officers will be required to key in the new system their personal details which include; their training, when they were recruited, career progress, deployment and family records.
Through the Police Modernization Programme aimed at ensuring that the NPS responds to modern-day security challenges, the service has embarked on a massive investment in the tools and equipment that officers use in execution of their mandate.
Officers in operational areas have been kitted with specialized motor vehicles such as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles and Armoured Personnel Carriers.
Recently, the IG received three new armoured patrol boats that have already been deployed to help in the fight against terror, contraband, trafficking among other marine related crimes along the Kenyan coast.
National Police Service Week
The climax of the four years of transformation and reforms was to be witnessed in the first week of December 2018, when for the first time in the history of policing in the country, a National Police Service week was held at the Kenya Railways Club in Nairobi.
The week-long exhibition was meant to showcase what officers from across all services and formations do in service delivery to Kenyans.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i noted that moving forward, the NPS service week will be incorporated in the annual police calendar of events.