With a full in-tray, new IG of police must hit ground running

New Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai must hit the ground running, for there is plenty of work awaiting him. No doubt, as a former Director of Counter Terrorism at the National Intelligence Service, he is no stranger to police and security related work.

Mr Mutyambai will need to forge good work relationships with not just the National Police Service Commission, but with the public as well. Indeed, if properly handled and its trust won, the public is an endless reservoir of information that would make his work easy. 

Foremost, the new IG should sanitise the Police Service by weeding out rogue officers; a permanent blot on the fabric of the police service. In particular, the traffic and criminal investigation departments carry a lot of stigma. By perpetrating the culture of corruption, these officers have ensured that the police service tops corruption indexes for years on end.

Mr Mutyambai should expeditiously re-engineer the police service specifically to gain the right attitude to work.

Today and days gone, the police service is notorious for corruption, brutality and extra judicial killings. These have placed the service on a permanent collision path with the public and civil society groups. It is incumbent upon the new IG to ensure the police remains true to its billing as a service to the people of Kenya, not a force to be resisted.

Police reforms have been ongoing, but the goals are yet to be fully realised. This means that Mr Mutyambai should pick from where his predecessor left. Police housing reforms came with grumbles that should be addressed.

Nevertheless, it is encouraging that police officers can now live in dignity; their heads held high after the tin shacks many used to live in were phased out with the payment of house allowances.  In totality, the welfare of police officers must be taken care of to ensure nothing detracts them from doing their work diligently.

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Yet to achieve diligence in the police service, change of curriculum should be on the cards. The need to retrain officers to keep abreast of modern global policising trends cannot be gainsaid. The police must be fully kitted to handle internal security.

The menace of banditry in the Northern part of Kenya should be tackled now. How the police relate to the public is of utmost importance if public trust is to be won as an added tool to effective policing

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Police IG Hillary MutyambaiNew Police IG