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Police post tender for new chopper to enhance services

COUNTIES
By Cyrus Ombati | July 8th 2013

By Cyrus Ombati

Nairobi, Kenya: The Police Service has kicked off a process to buy a new helicopter to enhance operations in the country.

Police headquarters has invited bidders for the supply and deliver of the new single turbine engine helicopter to tender by August 2.

“The Kenya Police service invites sealed tenders from manufacturers or their appointed agents for supply and delivery of a new single turbine engine helicopter,” said an advert placed by Deputy Inspector General of Police Grace Kaindi on Tuesday.

This is aimed at increasing the number of the fleet in the service following the crash of the Eurocopter helicopter last year that killed six including Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and his assistant Orwa Ojode.

The force is poorly equipped with five of eight helicopters and four of seven Cessna fixed wing aircraft unserviceable.

The unit has at least ten helicopter pilots, 13 fixed wing pilots, 18 engineers, 48 technicians, and seven cabin crew members.

The helicopter that crashed in Ngong Forest on June 10, 2012, was procured for the regular police in 2011.

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The Administration Police also purchased a similar helicopter, which they use for their operations.

Airborne law

The acquisition of the new aircraft is part of a plan by the force to expand its airborne law enforcement and crime prevention unit.

“Apart from the helicopters, the ministry intends to purchase more vehicles to ensure officers respond to the issues they face,” said a senior police officer aware of the plans.

The Philip Ransley report on police reforms, proposed an increase of the number of aircraft for both the regular and AP force to enhance police operations. Kenya has been using MI-17 helicopters from Russia, which former Commissioner of Police Mathew Iteere praised as some of the biggest in the world.

Mr Kimaiyo has complained underfunding is the main challenge they are facing in efforts to modernise the police. But he said the Government is committed in meeting the aimed reforms and fund the service

President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced the Government has set aside Sh4 billion to buy modern security equipment annually for the next five years.

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