In proceedings where the complainant is the officer commanding the station, he or she often manipulates the probe in a particular direction.
Disciplining officers by waiver notices, where a senior officer charges a junior with a particular offence and passes sentence without giving the latter a chance to plead) is also common.
Senior police officers must be trained in abnormal psychology with a focus on mental disorders, why they occur, what they look like, how they are maintained, and what effect they have on peoples’ lives. Police work is inherently stressful. Senior police officers need to detect “abnormal” behaviour in their juniors, and know how to handle them.
Insulting a junior officer or taking other drastic measures to generate the ‘desired’ behavior has devastating effects on their egos.
Junior officers have needs beyond a salary increment. They need recognition as human beings. They have social needs, and must get time off from duty. They must be allowed to further their education and be members of various welfare clubs.
If police command will consider these, there will be immediate improvement in police behaviour.
It will help senior officers manage junior staff with a little more empathy. Without considering the above points, even the much celebrated change in name from the Kenya Police Force to Kenya Police Service will not help.
Apart from simply being a source of income, a police job should develop a officers’ full potential instead of maiming them emotionally, physically, intellectually, and spiritually.
The writer is a retired police officer from Changamwe.
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