Analysis: What do new changes portend for the Administration Police Service?

 The Inspector-General of Police Inspector General of police Hillary Mutyambai inspects a mini-parade mounted by administration and regular police officers at the Kakamega Police station: The government is merging the two forces. [File, Standard]

Nearly 24000 Administration Police Service officers have been handed over to the Kenya Police Service in a ceremony presided by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i. Cyrus Ombati looks at the implications of the move that stems from a presidential directive to merge the two services.

The 23,900 officers will now be under sub-county commanders popularly known as Officers Commanding Police Division (OCPD).

At the same time, plans are underway to change the police command offices in Nairobi. For instance, Makadara Police Division will be stationed at Buruburu and Kamukunji in Pangani police stations.

The 23,9000 affected personnel have been directed to return their jungle uniforms to their respective commanders and will be issued with the new blue one.

And to reduce wastage, it has been resolved that most of the 3200 leased police vehicles will be available for patrol following the Presidential directive to reduce wastage. The vehicles will now be under the command of the OCPD.

The changes affect more than 3,600 chiefs’ camps in Kenya.

Further, all the country’s 1,520 wards will have police stations to be manned by an Officer Commanding Station (OCS), while the current constituencies will also have police divisions to be served by sub-county police commanders formerly known as OCPDs as part of efforts to devolve services across Kenya.

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Already all Administration Police Service camps at chiefs’ offices and those not near police stations are being transformed into police posts, following the President’s September 13 directive to merge police units.

The new changes started with the change of the command structure, with the collapse of parallel commanders for the APS, Kenya Police Service (KPS) and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI). The parallel commanders were all of the same rank, making overall command challenging.

It means that if you walk into a chief’s camp, you will find all government services there.

The chief will be present and if your case needs police attention, an officer in charge of a post or patrol base will attend to you.

The camps will have a holding cell and will handle all cases professionally.

Most of the APS who remained will be in charge of Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit.

“CIPU is mandated to protect electricity, banks, government buildings and installations, water points and cash in transit. Others are critical infrastructure and energy infrastructure,” Gabow said.

All Anti Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) KPS officers have been moved to APS which has been left with four units including ASTU, Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU), Border Patrol Unit (BPU) and Critical Infrastructure and Security of Government Buildings unit.

All specialised unit officers who include ASTU, RDU RBPU are being issued with General Service Unit (GSU) like combat uniform as their operational clothing while general duty officers will have the new blue uniforms.

APS will now man 22 border posts at the Kenya-Somalia main border. RDU will have offices in all counties.

While the specialized units will have the same operation area uniform whose role out is immediate, the general duty uniform will be rolled out gradually because of the huge number of those involved.

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