In Summary
  • Part of the rallying call for constitutional reforms in the 1990s was the makeover of the police into a competent, progressive and professional outfit.
  • The Constitution changed the structure and, among the outstanding features, established the National Police Service Commission led by civilians to manage the service.

The Kenya Police Service reforms unveiled yesterday are a turning point in the administrative and professional orientation of the agency bestowed with the onerous task of enforcing law and order.

They were long overdue. Our desire is that they transcend rebranding and redesignation of positions and reporting lines to professional competence, integrity and true service.

Police service is one establishment that has defied all efforts towards transformation, arguably because of inherent and deep-rooted practices.

Several initiatives in the past merely scraped at the surface, leaving the core intact. Leadership changes, strategic plans and administrative structures have not yielded desired outcomes.

CORRUPTION

Part of the rallying call for constitutional reforms in the 1990s was the makeover of the police into a competent, progressive and professional outfit.

Significantly, the name was changed from “police force” to “police service” to illuminate the fact that it is an institution set out to work for the welfare of the citizens and not the other way round.

The Constitution changed the structure and, among the outstanding features, established the National Police Service Commission led by civilians to manage the service.

Besides redesignating the title of the head of the institution — from Commissioner of Police to Inspector-General of Police — the Constitution decreed that the holder be appointed competitively with the objective of insulating him or her from external influences.

Page 1 of 2